Deborah A. Caviness

Location: Bridgeport

Community Builder

Tell us about your community building activities in 2020?

The agency was able to partner with other community based service providers to help families in need by distributing monthly food boxes including other needed critical resources. The service providers included Optimus Health Care Center, AHEC, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Black Chamber of Commerce, Park City Harvest, A Pinch of Salt, Betsy's Latin Flavors, US National Guard, Gladys Crossings, LLC.

What community building goals did you accomplish or milestones did you hit in 2020?

introduced cooking demonstration embracing the diverse cultures of the community and their food traditions utilizing healthy fresh produce and other food related options.

Nominator Justification

BPT-OIC is a grassroots, non-profit organization that provides free job training, customer service training, small business development, urban farming training and comprehensive case management services. During the pandemic for the entire year on a monthly basis BPT-OIC partnered with Optimus, Black Chamber of Commerce and others to distribute 40lb food boxes to needy families including healthy cooking demonstrations, clothing, facial masks, hand sanitizer and other personal hygiene products,


Describe your program

Local non-profit organization that provides free job training and job search support, small business development for aspiring entrepreneurs and established businesses, urban farming training, economic development consulting services

What are the coolest, most popular features of your program?

All the services are FREE Although the organization's primarily focus is job training we pivoted to include food distribution to address the food insecurity crisis during the pandemic

What impact did your program make in 2020?

Distributed over 15,000 food boxes combined with rescue meals to families in need Distributed over 250 PPE supply kits to local businesses Provided technical assistance and to over 25 businesses that were affected by the pandemic to prepare business loan applications to secure funds from Department of Economic and Community Development

Nominator Justification

BPT-OIC provides free small business development classes to aspiring entrepreneurs that are looking to start a business and professional consulting services for established small business owners seeking access to resources to sustain their existing business. The workshops includes: How to Start a Business, How to Write a Business Plan, How to Market Your Business and How to Finance Your Business.

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