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Tyco SimplexGrinnell launches a round of new grants to support United Way Youth Venture

WESTMINSTER, Mass. (April 14, 2017) – Tyco SimplexGrinnell has awarded three new grants to support United Way Youth Venture, a school-based youth leadership development program that was launched by United Way of North Central Massachusetts.

The grants, $15,000 each, went to United Way of Greater New Bedford, New Bedford, Mass.; United Way Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, Colo.; and United Way of Medina County, Medina, Ohio, to support their United Way Youth Venture programs.

“United Way Youth Venture students are change makers, and we are pleased to play a role in supporting this program throughout the United States as part of our commitment to community involvement and leadership,” said Aaron Saak, vice president & general manager at SimplexGrinnell.

“What is great about this latest round of grants is that SimplexGrinnell helped these three United Ways initially launch United Way Youth Venture several years ago,” said Phil Grzewinski, president of United Way of North Central Massachusetts.

Reaction from the United Way grant recipients

Allison Yates-Berg, vice president of Community Impact and Operations for United Way of Greater New Bedford, Mass., said the organization intends to use the additional funding to expand United Way Youth Venture to another school in its service area. “We firmly believe that Youth Venture has the potential to transform the way our youth engage in civic life and will be a tremendous asset in developing a new generation of community leaders,” she said.

Lauren Bryant, youth success coordinator for Pikes Peak United Way in Colorado Springs, Colo., said the grant will support hundreds of students in the Pikes Peak region. "We are so grateful to Tyco SimplexGrinnell,” Bryant said. “From planting a garden to help feed food insecure classmates to designing a new concept for a school cafeteria, students are learning that they can make a difference in their community."

According to Cheryl Parzych, CEO of United Way of Medina County in Medina, Ohio, the renewal of support for the United Way Youth Venture program will allow the organization to add to the nearly 25 teams that have already been established. “United Way of Medina County is grateful for this opportunity and the vision of Tyco SimplexGrinnell,” she said. 

Supporting continued United Way Youth Venture expansion

United Way of North Central Massachusetts launched United Way Youth Venture in 2002. The program spread locally and is in seven communities in North Central Massachusetts. As a result of its success locally, SimplexGrinnell wanted to expand the program to other offices throughout North America. It has subsequently sponsored annual grant competitions and provided funds to United Ways to launch Youth Venture programs in over 10 communities across the United States.

The funds for the grants come from contributions by employees during the company’s annual United Way Campaign drive and corporate support. Locally in North Central Massachusetts, the program is managed by Mount Wachusett Community College and engages over 2,500 students.

About Tyco SimplexGrinnell

Tyco SimplexGrinnell, part of Johnson Controls, is a longtime leader in fire and life safety, with over 400,000 customers and a history that dates back to the mid 1800s. SimplexGrinnell is helping make buildings safer and smarter with a comprehensive array of fire alarm, fire sprinkler, fire suppression, emergency communications, integrated security, sound, and healthcare communications systems and services. Headquartered in Westminster, Massachusetts, SimplexGrinnell has over 8,000 employees in the United States and serves customers through 130 company-owned offices. For more information, visit

About United Way Youth Venture

In 2002, United Way of North Central Massachusetts, in partnership with Ashoka, founded United Way Youth Venture, a unique and collaborative partnership that helps schools launch lasting social ventures that create a positive impact on the community. These schools integrate United Way Youth Venture into their curriculum, after-school activities and special events. Mount Wachusett Community College manages the program for United Way. For additional information, visit