Palmisano Foundation Makes $750K ‘Commitment to NOLA Youth’
NEW ORLEANS (press release) — On Dec. 6, The Palmisano Foundation, the charitable arm of WJ Palmisano, is announcing a $750,000, three-year commitment to causes important to New Orleans youth in tandem with The NOLA Coalition.
The NOLA Coalition has two focus areas: community support for the New Orleans Police Department; and, raising $15 million over three years for investment in youth services. The Palmisano Foundation’s donation will specifically support the second component, which is intended to drive positive generational change for young people in New Orleans.
“From its inception, WJ Palmisano and the team assembled by Wesley have shown a relentless focus on excellence in everything they do,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of GNO Inc., coordinator of the NOLA Coalition. “This major commitment to the youth of New Orleans continues the Palmisano tradition: it is strategic, it is focused, and it will drive positive results — as hundreds of young people learn the skills for well-paying jobs in the high-demand construction industry. The NOLA Coalition salutes and thanks The Palmisano Foundation.”
To fund the gift, each company within the WJ Palmisano organizational umbrella is dedicated to donating a consistent percentage of their annual profit. The largest portion will come from the 10-year-old commercial construction company, Impetus.
“The Palmisano Foundation was founded to serve underprivileged youth and educational initiatives supporting the world’s next generation of great thinkers and doers, so working in tandem with The NOLA Coalition is a natural fit for us,” said Wesley Palmisano, the WJ Palmisano founder and president of the Board of the Palmisano Foundation. “We couldn’t be more excited to kick off this effort by bridging the gap between successful early career training programs and the placement of these young adults into real, permanent jobs.”
FIRST GIFT WILL CONNECT YOUTH TO PERMANENT CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY JOBS
In alignment with WJ Palmisano’s focus on construction and commercial real estate, the first grant in the amount of $120,000 per year for three years will go to unCommon Construction, a non-profit dedicated to providing workforce training in construction industry fields. unCommon Construction uses the build process to empower youth with the skills, network, resources, and experience to lead the workforce after high school or college. Thanks to the support of The Palmisano Foundation, a new staff position will be created within unCommon, and career fair support will be provided to build an ongoing bridge between education and employment. The new, full-time Alumni Pathways Manager role will focus on matching program graduates with full-time job opportunities in construction companies around the region.
“We’re so proud and grateful to be a leading partner in The Palmisano Foundation’s commitment to creating outstanding outcomes for our city’s youth. Since Wes and the team first approached us, they’ve been bold and passionate about finding new and innovative ways to get engaged and amplify our mission. It’s very exciting and inspiring to think about the new opportunities this investment will create for youth across New Orleans,” said Aaron Frumin, the Founder & Executive Director at unCommon Construction.
NEW FOUNDATION DIRECTOR WILL MANAGE GROWING FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS
The Palmisano Foundation also hired an Executive Director to ensure ongoing delivery on its operational mission and the goals behind this significant funding commitment. Sherry Serio, a New Orleans native returning after several years living in California, is joining the organization with a great deal of experience in fundraising and non-profit management.
“To have the opportunity to work with the growing Palmisano Foundation as they expand their impact on New Orleans’ youth is a tremendous honor for me. I am thrilled to take the helm of the Foundation, and I look forward to delivering on the Board’s mission in the years ahead,” said Serio.
The Palmisano Foundation’s Board of Directors will continue to allocate the total $750,000 donation in tandem with input from The NOLA Coalition over the course of the 2023-2025 calendar years.