Contact: Kelly Vence
Public Information Office
ELIZABETH, NJ—April 29, 2015 — Earlier this morning, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage joined more than 60 guests in celebration of the 41st year of the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) in City Hall’s Council Chambers.
“Over the last 41 years, CDBG funds have revitalized neighborhoods, rejuvenated community facilities and solidified a sense of pride in our City,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “I would like to thank my dedicated staff and our great partners at HUD for the wonderful work they continue to do.”
Mayor Bollwage signed a proclamation at the event declaring April 26, 2015 to May 2, 2015 CDBG Week in the City. This year’s theme for Elizabeth is “Preparation, Progress and Delivering Quality Services,” which exemplifies all the great things the community has accomplished with CDBG funds since the program’s inception.  It also emphasizes the City’s continual commitment to increase assistance and throughout the municipality.
The CDBG program enables support to be provided to various local agencies, who deliver a wide array of services that include, but are not limited to: senior citizen programs, affordable housing, economic development, emergency relocation, child care, health care, youth counseling, mentoring and recreation; all for the benefit of low and moderate income residents. 
Several individuals representing government, private/public partnerships and the community sector spoke on a panel discussion regarding various job training programs available and gave information on how to obtain such services. Speakers included: Annemarie Uebbing, CPD Division Director of the Newark HUD Office; William O’Dea, Executive Director, Elizabeth Development Company; Perle Almeida, Assistant Director of the Union County Workforce Investment Board (WIB); Joseph McTernan, Senior Director of Commercial and Clinical Services at Trinitas Regional Medical Center; Pastor Karen Yuschak, President/CEO of Streetlight Mission; Pastor Michael Howard, COO of Siloam Hope Cares, CDC and Shantina Fleming, Employment Support Counselor at Community Access Unlimited.
“While this is only my second celebration in honor of CDBG week, this successful program has been around for the past 41 years,” said Director of Planning Community Development Eduardo Rodriguez. “It has enabled our city to create new resources, implement vital initiatives and provide overall assistance to improve the quality of life for all the Elizabeth’s residents.”
CDBG funds are distributed to worthy agencies via a competitive application process, which is conducted by the Mayor’s CDBG Advisory Committee.  
For more information on the Community Development Block Program, please call Susan Ucci at 908-352-8450 or Jessica Topolosky at 908-820-4030.