State leaders were on hand for the grand opening of a new company, Popdot Signs and Graphics in Wilmington, which hires disadvantaged youth.
“Popdot is a sign company that employs youth who have aged out of the foster care system,” explained Clint Walker, managing director of Barclaycard US. “Most will be graduates of Bright Spot Ventures and [this] provides them with a meaningful job.”
Walker added that many youth who age out of foster care have not had access to any job training and have a harder time entering the workforce.
Bright Spot Venture teaches work skills through their Cool Springs Farmer’s Market. Participants learn to grow and sell their own produce, learning customer service and business management.
Popdot Signs and Graphics has already hired three employees from Bright Spot for its location in Wilmington’s Little Italy neighborhood.
The company pledges to provide full-time jobs that pay livable wages and benefits while providing continued business training in a real workplace environment.
“This is not about charity, these young people are not looking for charity, what they’re looking for is what is it that we can all do together to make sure they can pursue their potential so they can live out their dream,” said Govenor Jack Markell.
Popdot was founded through a partnership between a company called Sir Speedy Printing, owned by Karen and Dan Nestor and an organization called West End Neighborhood House, which has been revitalizing the West End community in Wilmington for the past several years.
“Many of us recognize that it is small business owners, that it is entrepreneurs, it is people who work hard day in and day out to create most of the jobs in our county and who are the real engines of vitality in our communities,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware.
Popdot has already completed work for the Kenny Family Foundation and ShopRite.