Uniting People with Opportunities
         Since 1962

July 2012

Dear Friend of UPO:


UPO celebrates a half a century of providing a myriad of services and programs to the people of the District of Columbia. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our community and unite residents with resources enabling them to reach higher levels of self-sufficiency. From connecting residents with employment opportunities to transporting homeless residents to shelters and providing youth with scholarships and education programs, UPO has been instrumental in engaging residents, while empowering them to take an active role in sustaining their future.  The next 50 years for UPO will be no different.


UPO plans to enhance its existing programs and services by increasing its partnerships in the community. As one of the District's longstanding non-profit organizations, we are committed to providing the residents of DC with opportunities, making the District a better place to live, work, and learn. We seek to promote a thriving community that embraces innovation, diversity, and opportunity for all. With family development as the focus of UPO's strategy, we want you to know that UPO is here to stay and ready to serve for another 50 years and more.


Your support will be paramount to UPO's continued success. Investing your time, talent, and treasure in our community is an investment in a brighter DC future. Please help us as we plant hope in hard places and fulfill our mission - uniting people with opportunities.


To learn more about ways to support our mission visit www.upo.org and join "Friends of UPO."


Yours in service,


 Dana M. Jones


President and CEO

Early Education
A jumpstart on learning!

"Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation" (John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States)  

Throughout the UPO early learning network, nearly 2,000 infants and toddlers ages 0 to 5 from low-income Washington, DC families are enrolled in our NAEYC accredited, Early Head Start and Head Start centers. The centers hold the gold accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation's leading organization of early childhood education.


The Head Start Impact Study conducted by the National Head Start Association reveals positive impacts for 3 and 4 year-old children enrolled in Head Start on pre-reading, pre-writing, vocabulary, and parent reports of children's literacy skills.  Studies have also found that Head Start children experience increased achievement test scores and experience favorable long-term effects on grade repetition, special education, and graduation rates.


Our early education programs help parents make the investment to jump-start their child's learning during the most critical periods of brain development, ages 0 to 3.


UPO knows that education develops abilities that strengthen our families and the communities they live in. We incorporate this belief into educational programs that promote school readiness and academic achievement.


Within our state licensed and certified classrooms, UPO provides evidenced based best proacticies that support individual patterns of development. A child's educational experience is molded to help him/her understand basic concepts and develop age appropriate literacy, numeracy, reasoning, problem solving and decision making abilities. Foundational skills help form a child's readiness for grade school and a lifetime of success.  


Our nationally certified and bilingual staff, offer comprehensive services for health, nutrition, family support, disability and mental health needs or issues.UPO deeply believes that every child, despite their economic backgrounds deserves access to educational programs that help them exceed academically.


Nelson Mandela said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world".


Click here and learn more about our early learning network.



UPO Creates Trade Opportunities

 "UPO Weatherization Training Center"


The US Department of Energy has documented that Weatherization reduced energy bills an average of $215 per year in more than 105,000 low-income homes in 2002. Weatherization provides a lasting solution by addressing the cause of high-energy bills. Making one's home more energy efficient is of high importance amongst residents of all economic backgrounds due to the increased cost of home heating and cooling.


With many residents looking to "go green" and live more energy efficient, UPO realized an opportunity to equip unemployed or underemployed DC residents with skill trades that were in high demand. UPO quickly developed their regional, state-of-the-art Weatherization Training Center (WTC). It is an approved Building Performance Institute (BPI) testing center where individuals can earn national certifications in the following areas: Building Analyst, Building Envelope, Crew Chief, Installer, and Auditor.


According to a Brookings Institution's report, Sizing the Clean Economy, the Washington, DC metropolitan area ranks fourth among 100 of the largest metropolitan areas in the US in the growing green economy, which totaled 70,828 green jobs in 2010, which 22,462 were people employed by the District.  Overall, today's green economy establishments added half a million jobs between 2003 and 2010, expanding at an annual rate of 3.4 percent.


Qualified, low-income DC residents gain valuable free training to enhance or establish employable skills enabling them to apply for career opportunities in weatherization or the construction industry. This year alone 99 DC residents have been trained and over 50% of them are now employed.


As UPO continues its efforts in sustaining the growth and self sufficiency of all DC residents, we offer fee-based training to customers in the private and government sectors, for those interested in learning a new trade or obtaining necessary certifications to meet today's industry requirements.


UPO understands the importance of providing trade opportunities. Through our Green Capital Home Improvement-company, a licensed and bonded social enterprise, we also create career opportunities for some of our students who become certified as Crew Chiefs, Installers, or Auditors.  


So not only do we teach the trade we employ highly qualified and certified technicians to perform the work, thus creating a true cycle of opportunity for the entire Washington, DC community.



For more information regarding training through our UPO state of the art WTC click here.


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United Planning Organization: Voices of Opportunity
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Voices of Opportunity


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 Back to School Supply Drive


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Mr. Charles Pyatt- Case Manager


Planting Hope with Employment   


Unemployment has several emotional and physical effects on individuals. The primary affect is loss of financial security, which in turn affects the entire family and community. Unemployment and poverty always seem to coexist thus requiring access to employment and training programs to break the connection.  


Through UPO's employment career development program we are committed to breaking the unemployment and poverty connection. The program has provided free career development services to 242 unemployed or under-employed DC residents, of which 139 have received and retained employment.


Mr. James Benbow, a DC resident,  who completed the job readiness training program, was placed with "Food Team", a partnering placement agency which led him to a full-time position with Virginia Hospital. 


Mr. Benbow stated that his time with the UPO program has been very productive and enlightening.  "It was a great place for me to jump-start my career. The instructors were excellent, and the job readiness training program is a great place to get guidance and onsite job experience".


UPO's Employment and Career Development Center provides qualified low-income DC residents with the necessary tools to obtain and retain employment. Individuals gain valuable skills in resume writing, job search techniques, interviewing, and workplace etiquette.


Each customer is assigned to an Employment Case Manager to ensure that barriers are met prior to enrolling into workforce training programs. Whether the needs are housing, childcare, or emergency assistance, trained staff perform need assessments ensuring customers are successfully prepared to rejoin the workforce.


Employment Case Manager, Charles Pyatt says, "It's good to see people helping themselves "I've been with UPO for 8 years and what keeps me going, is the determination of our clients. It's a great feeling to be an eyewitness of their success and achievement."  


Providing career development skills and training not only help individuals regain financial security but also helps, the entire family heal from the negative effects of job loss. Regardless of the path, UPO's employment and training services meet residents where they are, and bring them to the level of self-sufficiency.


For more Information on UPO's employment and career development opportunities

 click here


United Planning Organization

301 Rhode Island Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20001

visit us at www.upo.org

CFC # 90524

DC One Fund # 9881