The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

The student newspaper of Clark University

The Scarlet

Federal Funding Not Enough to Finance Community Empowerment Center

Leo Kerz
A view of Clark’s campus on the corner of Maywood St. and Main from the lot at 971 Main St.

Clark University received half a million dollars in Federal funding earlier this month to build a new community engagement center focused on empowering local entrepreneurs. The University received less than a fifth of the total amount it requested.

Joe Corazzini, Clark’s Vice President for Government and Community Affairs, championed the project, sited at 971 Main Street. The proposal he helped author calls for a 5,000-square foot facility on the lot, which is presently vacant, on land owned by the University. The new building would serve as a home base for many of Clark’s community engagement programs, including the Small Business Development Center. 

“$500,000 alone is not enough to complete the project,” said Corazzini in an email to The Scarlet. “We will look for more [aid] to help close the gap,” he said, which may include local funding sources, like state or city government. 

The Scarlet previously reported that money for the project was being held up by negotiations over a slate of appropriations bills in Congress. In a typical year, the grants would have been approved and distributed months ago. Negotiators only reached a compromise earlier this month. President Joe Biden signed these bills into law, but only after Republicans slashed proposals across the board.

Clark, with the sponsorship of Representative Jim McGovern, initially asked for $2.6 million in Community Project Funding. CPF grants are distributed annually and are  targeted at a congressperson’s home district – what used to be called “earmarking.” The University’s project qualified for funding because of its connections to federally-sponsored workforce preparation programs.

In a previous interview, Corazzini told The Scarlet that “it would be terrible to see no funding come through, or a small amount of funding.” He promised to continue pursuing the project, however. He said that the University did not have the money to finance the project on its own.

In his email, Corazzini praised McGovern’s advocacy. The funding was “not easy to secure, especially given the current state of the House,” he said. “While we were hoping for more,” Corazzini said, “I am grateful for his support and I think it speaks to his confidence in Clark and our mission.”

Corazzini said that Representative McGovern called him personally to tell him the funding had been approved.

“The next step is to secure additional funding,” said Corazzini. “I learned long ago that great ideas require creativity and hard work to move to implementation.” 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Comment approval is subject to the discretion of the Scarlet editorial board.
All The Scarlet Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *