GROW Racine initiative launched; help transform residents' futures

Racine Mayor Cory Mason announced on Thursday, March 24 the launch of a new campaign, website, and scholarships to help Racine residents connect to city resources and transform their futures. 

A news release says the Growing Residents’ Opportunities and Wealth (GROW) Racine initiative will be run by the mayor’s office and provided residents with access to resources to help them earn high school degrees, launch family-supporting jobs in the trades, become homeowners, and more.  

Included in the resources are two new tracks of scholarships announced by the mayor. Adult city residents will now be eligible for up to $1,500 scholarships to support them in earning their high school degree through the YWCA SEW’s 5.09 High School Equivalency Degree (HSED) program or completing pre-apprenticeship training through the Racine Family YMCA’s First Choice Pre-Apprenticeship program or WRTP/Big Step’s Southeast Wisconsin’s Roadbuilding Training program.   

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GROW Racine also includes the Racine Financial Empowerment Center (FEC), which the city runs in partnership with Housing Resources, Inc.  

Racine is utilizing $1.5M in American Rescue Act Plan (ARPA) funds for these initiatives to catalyze adult high school degree attainment, launch residents’ careers in the building trades, and improve residents’ financial resiliency. 

Here is a breakdown of the $1.5 million investment in Racine residents: 

  • Catalyzing Residents’ Careers in the Trades: $510,000 – Funding will be utilized to provide scholarships to support up to 250 adult city residents in completing local pre-apprenticeship training to launch family-supporting careers in the trades.  
  • Sustaining the Racine Financial Empowerment Center: $600,000 – Funding will be used to sustain and grow the Racine FEC, which provides free, confidential, one-on-one professional financial counseling to all city residents to help them address financial challenges, prepare for homeownership, and achieve financial resiliency. 
  • Catalyzing Adult Residents’ High School Degree Attainment: $475,000 -- Funding will be utilized to provide scholarships to support up to 250 adult city residents in attaining their high school diplomas or equivalency degrees.