Workforce Training and Career Development
At CKAR, one of our goals is to ready the residents of our community to qualify for new job opportunities coming to the Greater Riverdale area. To curb unemployment in the communities that we serve, CKAR has carefully developed the Greater Riverdale Career Empowerment Center, offering workforce training and career development programming. This center has been designed to offer certified occupational skills training in hospitality and culinary arts, outreach, job readiness skills, post-employment counseling services, basic computer training, and legal services. CKAR provides these end-to-end services in collaboration with Prince George’s Community College, Centro de Apoyo, Family Restoration and Healing Center, Run Your Race Ministries, and Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County.
New job opportunities will soon be available through construction, maintenance and operations of a new $5.6 billion Purple Line light-rail project that will be constructed right in the heart of Kenilworth Avenue and Riverdale Road. New hotel developments and retail food markets such as Whole Foods and Safeway also offer job opportunities to our residents. Workforce training and career development will deliver change to the community through increased economic impact if our residents are job-ready. If you are interested in changing your career, getting back to work, acquiring information about new job opportunities in the area, or finding a job closer to the Greater Riverdale area, visit our office at 6801 Kenilworth Avenue Suite 203, Riverdale Park, Maryland 20737.
Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
CKAR engages homeowners in the Greater Riverdale area in environmental stewardship and sustainability. The goal of CKAR is to continuously improve the lives of residents in the community by creating a sustainable environment that will provide good water and air quality. Prince George’s County has over twenty-five storm water retrofit projects listed as priority projects in East Riverdale’s watershed. These projects offer CKAR an excellent opportunity to engage the community in CKAR’s Tree Canopy Project in spring and fall and develop pocket parks with rain gardens throughout the community. View Our Form Here.
CKAR supports the efforts of the Chesapeake Bay Trust in partnership with Prince George’s County Department of the Environment to set a programmatic goal to strengthen communities, improve water quality in the County’s waterways, and engage County residents with storm water issues. As large infrastructure projects involving miles of hard, impervious surfaces are built, residents must balance that activity with ‘green infrastructure’ to support Clean Air and Clean Water.
Community Revitalization and Business Development
Community revitalization, if implemented using best participatory practices, can be an effective tool to bring a community together through design initiatives and small business development. CKAR uses tools provided by our state and local governments to support its efforts. Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development offers Community Legacy, Business Works, and other revitalization programs to non-profits to make effective change in their communities.
CKAR successfully partnered with the Town of Riverdale Park, the unincorporated community of Riverdale, and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC)/Prince George’s Planning Department to designate Greater Riverdale a Sustainable Community in 2015. This designation opened up funding opportunities to these communities and provided access to the State’s Community Legacy Program. CKAR received $90,000 in gap grant funding to partner with Prince George’s County Department of Public Works & Transportation, Department of the Environment, and University of Maryland School of Landscape Architecture to develop the $321,000 Edmonston Road Rain Garden at the southern entrance to our sustainable community along Kenilworth Avenue. CKAR strongly hopes that this project will leverage interest, start discussions, and create a sense of urgency within the community among residents and business owners to make changes to the Kenilworth Avenue Corridor.
At the local level, CKAR is a member of the Steering Committee for the Planning Department’s new Sector Plan for East Riverdale/Beacon Heights and the implementation steering committee for the sector plan. CKAR is also part of the county’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative program (TNI) for East Riverdale/Bladensburg and the Purple Line Corridor Coalition.
In 2016, CKAR worked with our county government through our Council Chairperson Danielle Glaros (District #2), our District 22 State Legislative Team and the Town of Riverdale Park to make effective change from a potentially disruptive closed support design proposed by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) that would have divided the community. CKAR’s advocacy helped MTA and the Purple Line transit partners to return to the original open structure support design for the Purple Line light transit Riverdale Park Station. CKAR developed an on-line petition, bi-lingual hard copy petitions, canvassed neighborhoods, spoke openly at community events and persuaded our county government and the MTA to reverse its decision. CKAR maintains the community’s voice for change.
CKAR plans to use certain parts of its Edmonston Road Rain Garden project to be reiterative along the east and west sides of Kenilworth Avenue from Edmonston Road to Riverdale Road. Features such as the forest garden which has edible plants and the pollinator habitat can be easily replicated by homeowners and businesses alike. Hopefully, this project will leverage interest and discussion within the community to make the changes badly needed along this important corridor.
CKAR anticipates change coming to our diverse community and wants to lead the community to play a role in that change. Through carefully developed revitalization plans, the community can be the beneficiary of the building and operation of the $5.6 billion Purple Line light rail transit system planned to travel through the core of the community. CKAR serves as a member of the Prince George’s County Planning Department’s Sector initiative and as a member on the Purple Line Community Advisory Committee.
Service To The Community
Christmas Families in Need
CKAR’s Christmas Families in Need program helps local families during the holiday season through donations and gifts. The 2017 Adopt-A-Family program provided warm clothing, school uniforms, games, and educational toys. In addition, gift cards were given to two homeless families in the community. This was made possible by cash donations from local businesses – El Sitio, Kenilworth Liquors, and Rosenberg, Fayne and Raden along the Kenilworth Avenue commercial corridor; the Templeton Knolls Parent-Teacher Association; and CKAR board members. In-kind donations of goods from the Prince George’s County Office of Community Relations and cash donations from CKAR board members. Additional in-kind donations were made by CKAR board members Alice Bishop and Sharon Wertz of outreach, shopping, wrapping, pick-up and delivery. CKAR’s Christmas Families In Need program has expanded each year and 2017 was by far the largest contribution and effort at Christmas time from our business community.
If you are interested in participating in 2018, in the spirit of Christmas, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
CKAR hosts and organizes a Day of Service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day each year to give back to our community. We collaborate with other local non-profits, educational, and religious institutions to organize projects completed on MLK Day. In 2018, students from the Junior Tennis Champion Center (JTCC) in College Park will join CKAR to provide service supporting the environmental re-use program Community Forklift in Hyattsville. Community Forklift serves the area with home improvement supplies and vintage materials for restoring our older structures at low cost. The Office of Community Engagement at the University of Maryland celebrates the MLK Day with us by providing gifts from the UMD community to workers.