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SimplexGrinnell employee giving funds youth leadership program

The Greater Twin Cities United Way in Minnesota will launch a youth leadership program , thanks to a $30,000 grant from SimplexGrinnell made possible by employee contributions to the company's nationwide United Way Campaign.

A Westminster-based fire and life-safety company, SimplexGrinnell has 150 locations  in North America, including a district office in Minneapolis, Minn., that is actively engaged with Greater Twin Cities United Way. The grant announcement culminated a months-long process in which United Ways from across the United States submitted proposals for a Youth Venture grant. SimplexGrinnell is collaborating with the United Way of North Central Massachusetts to help spread United Way Youth Venture throughout the United States.

Next fall, Greater Twin Cities United Way will use the grant funding to implement the school-based Youth Venture program, which empowers students to design and launch lasting social ventures that have a positive impact.


Julie Ha Troung (left) and Meghan Barp (right) from Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minneapolis, Minn., thank Dave Baer (second from left) and Bob Chauvin from SimplexGrinnell for a $30,000 grant they received to launch a youth leadership program, United Way Youth Venture, in their community.


"Thanks to the generous grant from SimplexGrinnell, this program will launch in Brooklyn Center schools in the fall, reaching over 100 youth in middle and high school," explained Meghan Barp, Greater Twin Cities United Way education manager. "The passions and interests of the group, combined with a business-like strategy, drive Youth Venture participants to develop initiatives, create social-purpose businesses and engage community organizations - all representing quality learning opportunities outside the classroom."

SimplexGrinnell and its parent company, Tyco International, kicked off the effort to expand Youth Venture in 2009, with a $30,000 grant to the United Way of Central Maryland. In 2010, SimplexGrinnell employees participated in a workplace giving campaign that gave them the opportunity to contribute to Youth Venture or their local United Way.

"This grant and our entire Youth Venture effort advances SimplexGrinnell's commitment to be a leader in all the communities we serve," said Bob Chauvin, company president and a board member at the United Way of North Central Massachusetts. "Our employees are to be commended for stepping forward to strengthen our communities and help develop the next generation of leaders."

Wide participation in the grant process

United Ways throughout the country submitted proposals on how they would implement a Youth Venture program. The United Way of North Central Massachusetts, which founded United Way Youth Venture, helped manage the process. With the help of what is now an annual campaign at SimplexGrinnell, United Way Youth Venture has expanded to encompass five other cities nationwide.

This year, the top 10 applicants were invited to a half-day training session in Leominster, Mass., underwritten by SimplexGrinnell, to learn how to implement the program in their communities. They included: United Way of Lancaster County, Lancaster, Penn.;  Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minneapolis, Minn.; United Way of York County, York, Pa.; United Way of Greater Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem Pa.; United Way of Central Ohio, Columbus, Ohio; United Way of Metro Nashville, Nashville, Tenn.; United Way of Treasure Valley, Boise, Ia.; United Way Greater Knoxville, Knoxville, Tenn.; United Way of the Plains, Wichita, Ks.; and United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga.