Phoenix Hometown Hires is rebranding, changing its name to StepUp Wilmington.
The change is part of the local nonprofit organization's long-term strategic plan and reflects its affiliation with StepUp NC, according to a news release Wednesday afternoon.
"With this fresh direction, StepUp Wilmington has set a bolstered job goal, aiming to put 1,000 people into occupations over the next four years. In the 2016/17 fiscal year, Phoenix Hometown Hires placed 171 jobs," the release said.
Since 2013, Phoenix Hometown Hires has been collaborating with other StepUp member organizations in Raleigh, Greensboro and Durham, the release stated. The Wilmington nonprofit officially became a part of the StepUp NC collaboration in January 2017.
The rebranding of Phoenix Hometown Hires follows a long community history, according to the release. The organization was originally founded in 2002 as Phoenix Employment Ministry and integrated Hometown Hires
– a program under United Way of the Cape Fear Area – into its operations in 2015.
The release stated that as StepUp Wilmington, the organization's mission will remain the same, with a focus on addressing unemployment, poverty and economic instability throughout the Cape Fear region.
“By collaborating with top-notch workforce development organizations across the state, we will bring better programs to more people and place more people into better jobs,” said Will Rikard, executive director of StepUp Wilmington, in the release.
The organization is holding an event to announce the rebranding and share future goals 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday night at Live Oak Bank, 1741 Tiburon Drive, Wilmington.
“StepUp Wilmington and Live Oak Bank have very similar missions – to provide people with the tools they need to live the American dream,” said Kate Groat, Live Oak Bank’s director of philanthropy, in the release. “The direct impact of helping someone find a job so they can provide financial stability for themselves and their family is extremely valuable. That’s exactly how you create a stronger, more vibrant community both economically and culturally.”
StepUp Wilmington is working with Bon’s Eye Marketing to develop its new logo and website, with more information to come over the next month.