If you’ve driven along Manton Avenue recently, you may have noticed our ONE|NB fences adorning the lot where our new Manton Avenue Live/Work project is set to be built.  Construction begins this fall! The colorful fences are attractive, yes, and they let the community know that ONE|NB’s got a new project in the works, but they are also much more than that.

The unique 100’ construction fence was created by local non-profit and Central Providence Health Equity Zone member, The Steel Yard through their Weld to Work 1.5 program. Weld to Work is a job-training program that teaches participants the technical and soft skills they need to start their metal working careers. The Steel Yard has trained hundreds of individuals who have entered a variety of trades like welding, pipefitting, shipfitting, and iron working. The 1.5 program, in which Weld to Work graduates are hired back to work on Steel Yard public projects and work under a mentor, was designed to bridge the gap after the Weld to Work program while participants search for employment.  One such person is Devyn Maher. Devyn helped design and fabricate the images depicting “neighborhood” that are welded into the fence. Devyn completed the Steel Yard’s Weld to Work program and is now an apprentice at Local 51 (Rhode Island’s Plumbers Pipefitters Union).   

ONE|NB believes equitable economic opportunity is essential to fostering healthy and thriving communities.  Through the purchase of The Steel Yard’s fence panels, we are supporting local art, social enterprise, and workforce development.

The fences were made possible through funding provided by Council President Sabina Matos, proving the Providence City Council in invested in comprehensive community development.   

Partnership, public art, and job creation, can it get much better than that? Comment below on how you collaborate with community partners to make an even greater impact!