HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Local and federal leaders want to give more opportunities to young people in Hartford. On Friday, “Our Piece of the Pie” joined the city’s mayor and Connecticut’s senators to announce $2.6 million in grants.

Those grants are aimed at expanding the Youth Service Corps model. The group wants to engage nearly 200 justice-involved youth ages 18 to 24 in new employment opportunities.

“Through the Youth Service Corps model and these opportunities that have been announced today, young people will be able to participate in paid service-learning projects, continue to receive educational supports, receive career readiness training, goal-setting and personal development are at the forefront of this work,” said Hector Rivera, President & CEO of Our Piece of the Pie.

The Hartford Youth Service Corps has provided over 1,500 Hartford youth with an opportunity to build job skills, earn a paycheck and help strengthen neighborhoods in the last 7 years.