The Up Center Opens New Retail Bookstore March 23 Up Center Books to provide social and economic impact to Norfolk community WHAT: The Up Center will launch the opening of Up Center Books’ new retail bookstore during a Ribbon Cutting and Open House. Up Center Books, formerly Spotlight Books, is a non-profit social enterprise business that provides on-the-job training to very low income individuals with significant barriers to employment. Since 2004, Up Center Books operated solely as a non-profit internet book selling business. As of March 23, it adds a retail component where the general public can purchase books in-store, and at the same time, its employees can acquire valuable customer service skills. WHY: Up Center Books provides a pathway out of poverty for homeless and very low income adults. In addition to creating jobs, the bookstore maximizes the utilization of Norfolk real estate by relocating to a formerly vacant 10,392-square foot property. The bookstore also focuses on the needs of Norfolk’s neighborhoods through education. Program participants learn about money management, housing stability, addiction recovery maintenance and family violence prevention and treatment, which are skills that help strengthen the family unit. WHO: Ribbon Cutting and Open House participants include The Up Center’s Board of Directors, employees and stakeholders. The following people will be onsite and available for interviews: Ed Welp, President & CEO of The Up Center Andria McClellan, Board Chairman of The Up Center Lindsay Jackson, Program Manager, Up Center Books Juanita Rivera, Supervisor, Up Center Books - Former Up Center Books client and graduate WHEN: Wednesday, March 23, 2011. The ribbon cutting begins at 4 p.m. The open house, including tours of the bookstore and warehouse, immediately follows. WHERE: Up Center Books 1011 W. 25th Street Norfolk, VA 23517 (757) 623-1119 About The Up Center The Up Center helps children and families; people with disabilities; and, adults in crisis. For more than 125 years, the agency has responded to the needs of our community’s most vulnerable citizens. For more information, visit www.theupcenter.org or call 757-622-7017.
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