Daily News

Congressman Neal Announces $2 Million Earmark for Girls Inc. of the Valley

HOLYOKE — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal joined Girls Inc. of the Valley Executive Director Suzanne Parker to announce a $2 million earmark to support the renovation of the Girls Inc. of the Valley headquarters and program center.

The allocation was made possible through congressionally directed spending from the Department of Education. Neal included funding for this project in the FY 2023 spending bill that was signed into law on Dec. 29, 2022.

“Congress has the fundamental responsibility to oversee the expenditure of the public purse, with earmarking serving as a check on the nation’s spending to ensure regional equity. These funds are highly competitive, and the proposal by Girls Inc. illustrated a worthwhile investment that will help them continue their mission of serving our region’s youth,” Neal said. “Girls Inc. has a rich history of serving the Western Massachusetts community, with roots going back to the Girls Club of Holyoke in 1981. Supporting an organization that inspires our children and provides them with the opportunity to achieve their full potential is certainly an investment that will be of great benefit to the Pioneer Valley.”

With this funding, Girls Inc. of the Valley will be able to complete the $7 million renovation of its 16,000-square-foot facility at 480 Hampden St. in Holyoke. Their new location will serve as their permanent headquarters and program center where it will serve more than 1,000 girls from underserved communities. Students in the organization range from ages 5 to 18 and participate in programs offered year-round to help them make better decisions about their health and lifestyles, set and achieve higher academic goals, and put themselves on track to lead independent, successful lives.

“The federal funding that Congressman Neal secured for our program center renovation will allow Girls Inc. of the Valley to complete our work on a beautiful, educational space that the youth of the Valley deserve, even amidst rising construction costs and supply-chain disruptions,” Parker said. “Thanks to the Congressman’s support, participants will have increased access to the resources they need to grow up healthy, educated, and independent.”