It's About More Than Housing
Hudson River Housing’s economic development work is focused on implementation of a targeted community wealth building strategy for the City of Poughkeepsie.
“Community wealth building is a systems approach to economic development that creates an inclusive, sustainable economy built on locally rooted and broadly held ownership. Community Wealth Building calls for developing place-based assets of many kinds, working collaboratively, tapping large sources of demand, and fostering economic institutions and ecosystems of support for enterprises rooted in community.” – The Democracy Collaborative
As an agency, we already strive to create opportunities for wealth building by providing affordable housing and connections to job training and employment opportunities. The concept of Community Wealth Building provides us with a more comprehensive lens for focusing and evaluating our work to help create a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Hudson River Housing’s vision of community wealth building leverages local expertise in arts and culture, healthcare, education and culinary industries, key sectors in our local economy.
Within and around the Main Street Corridor, Hudson River Housing is pairing community and commercial space with residential space and focused programming, assuring that as the city grows and is revitalized, a mixed‐use, neighborhood‐scale community will continue to thrive as one of Poughkeepsie’s greatest assets.
Employment Assistance & Training Station
Hudson River Housing’s Charles S. North Employment Assistance & Training Station (EATS)
Through EATS, we create links to employment and provide wrap-around services in a welcoming environment. Currently we operate two employment training programs, assist with job searches and resumes, and partner with local employers to hire youth and adults.
Culinary Training Program
Our 80-hour Culinary Training Program places unemployed adults in training positions with food businesses operating out of the Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen, a shared‐use commercial kitchen located within the Poughkeepsie Underwear Factory. Participants learn all aspects of culinary arts from food prep, presentation, sanitization, customer service and more, preparing them with new skills and confidence to re-enter the workforce in the growing Hudson Valley hospitality industry. Participants work a flexible schedule and earn a $400 stipend upon completion of the program, as well as NYS Food Handling & Serv Safe Certification.
Upcycle Workforce Training Social Enterprise
Upcycle is an HRH-led social enterprise that designs, produces, markets and sells products made from reclaimed materials. Participants in the 80-hour Upcycle Training Program take part in productive, hands-on activities; gain confidence and skill building, have an outlet for creative expression through the arts, and learn job and money management skills. Participants work a flexible schedule and earn a $400 stipend upon completion of the program.
Youth LEAP (Learning through Employment, Assistance, and Partnership)
Youth LEAP places teens and young adults (agest 16-24) in short-term paid jobs with Poughkeepsie‐based businesses, while also providing wrap‐around support and soft skills training. LEAP positions are available year‐round and require no previous experience. Available jobs include positions in retail, food service, media, office administration, and more.
Teen Business Lab & "Pete's Grrr-nola"
Geared to teens ages 14 and up, the Teen Business Lab is an afterschool program that teaches basic business skills, builds community leadership, and inspires Poughkeepsie teens to become entrepreneurs and leaders in their community.
The program combines a series of workshops on business development with mentorship by local business leaders and real‐life experience working with “Pete’s Grrr‐nola”, a small food business run by Hudson River Housing. Participants earn a stipend at the conclusion of the program.
Small Business Support
Made in Middle Main
The Made in Middle Main Business Network is a membership‐based small business network. Focused on preserving and strengthening the small businesses of Poughkeepsie’s Main Street corridor, Made in Middle Main offers business development training, marketing support, and a supportive peer community. Members have the option to pay dues and take part in a participatory decision‐making process on how to use those funds for neighborhood improvements.
Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen (P.O.K.)
The Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen is a membership‐based small business network. The Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen is a shared-use commercial kitchen that rents space by the hour to food entrepreneurs to launch or grow their business. In addition to providing low‐cost, professional work space, the Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen offers business training, marketing support, retail outlets, and a supportive peer community.