GAR Foundation Awards $2 Million to Akron-Area Organizations

The GAR Foundation in Akron, Ohio, has announced grants totaling more than $2 million to twenty-eight community organizations in the areas of education, basic needs and independence, arts and culture, and civic enhancement.

The grants include $1 million to the Fund for Our Economic Future, which works to advance economic growth and equitable access to opportunity in the greater Akron area and Northeast Ohio. The three-year grant will support fund initiatives in the areas of workforce and talent development, skills-based hiring, entrepreneurship, innovation in the manufacturing sector, and business retention and expansion efforts.

"The fund has proven its expertise in understanding the dynamics of our local and regional economy and [in] supporting effective interventions that can improve Akron's economic future," said Kirstin Toth, senior vice president at the GAR Foundation. "GAR is proud to be an active partner in advancing the fund's efforts in greater Akron around job creation, workforce preparation, and access to opportunity for residents."

Additional grants include $75,000 to the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition for a project to improve connectivity, safety, accessibility, and aesthetics of the Towpath Trail in downtown Akron and adjacent neighborhoods; $145,000 to the Greater Summit County Early Learning Center in support of high-quality professional development training to pre-service and student teachers from in the Akron area and beyond; $20,000 to the Akron Area Arts Alliance for the general operations of Summit ArtSpace; $21,000 to Archbishop Hoban High School for summer orientation camp, professional development, and coaching; and $50,000 to the Kent State University Foundation in support of a scholarship program for Summit County students.