NORWALK, Conn. – The city’s uptown business district will have litter collected by participants in a Goodwill Industries jobs program, Mayor Harry W. Rilling announced at a sidewalk news conference Tuesday.
Standing before several workers in yellow T-shirts at the intersection of Wall and River streets, Rilling said the Goodwill teams began picking up litter last week as part of his Clean City Initiative.
“We’ve already noticed a big difference,” he said, adding that business owners were happy to see the workers and happy to see the city focusing some attention on the Wall Street area.
“The workers are doing what I understand to be a remarkable, remarkable job,” he said.
Rilling was joined by Vickie L. Volpano, president and CEO of Goodwill Western and Northern Connecticut, who approached the city’s Redevelopment Agency with the idea of employing people seeking jobs through her charitable agency.
“There’s great pride by the workers you see with me,” said Volpano. “We’re so proud to be part of this initiative.”
Teams of three Goodwill workers and a job coach are working two four-hour shifts a week for a total of 32 hours a week at a cost to the Redevelopment Agency of $339.60 a week. The program is scheduled to run six months.
“We invest in the neighborhood,” Volpano said. “Similarly, individual by individual, we work with people at Goodwill to help them achieve their best.”
A news release distributed during the announcement said the teams will be branching out to other areas of the city where needed.
Rilling noted that business owners remain responsible for sweeping the sidewalk in front of their properties. He also urged the public to dispose of litter in sidewalk trash cans.
Since the beginning of April, designated streets in the Wall Street and South Norwalk business districts have been swept on Monday mornings, also as part of his Clean City Initiative.