BRONX, NY – Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Bronx Chamber of Commerce executives announced the Bronx H.I.R.E. Domestic Violence Survivors Job Readiness and Internship Program Wednesday, a new job training initiative that will lead victims of domestic violence on a path to financial independence.

“Women who are victims of domestic violence too often return to their abusers because they lack the financial freedom to leave. The Bronx H.I.R.E. Survivors Program will empower women and put the control back in their hands. Women who have been victims will receive job training and internship opportunities and be on course for a new beginning in their careers,” said State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).

“Helping domestic violence survivors reach financial independence is an important step toward avoiding the common occurrence of returning to the abusive relationship because of their financial need. Through the Bronx  H.I.R.E. Domestic Violence Survivor Program these  women will  gain confidence to fine tune their skills and enter the workforce  to move towards  safe and enriching lives. I thank Senator Klein for launching this crucial program that will  help survivors overcome economic barriers and secure long-term financial independence,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

This spin-off of the already successful Bronx H.I.R.E program, will launch as a pilot on October 16th with ten women selected from the non-profit Violence Intervention Program, Inc., in partnership with the Bronx Borough President’s office. The women will embark on a six-week job training program to hone skills including resume writing, interviewing, Microsoft Office, typing, writing and Quickbooks.

On January 15, eight to 12 week internships will be offered to the women who completed certification during the six week training program. Internships will be offered at businesses and offices such as the office of State Senator Jeff Klein, the office of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, the Westchester Square B.I.D., Bronx Community Board #11, Teddy Nissan and Crown Trophy.

Following their internship experience, each of the women will enter the Bronx H.I.R.E. Open Doors Initiative where job training specialists will place them in jobs where their talents will shine.

“Sen. Jeff Klein’s grant allows us to assist domestic violence survivors in their return to the workforce and help them to achieve a life of self-sufficiency.  Under H.I.R.E, we will implement a comprehensive program for these women by providing them with skills to become employable in the workforce, and financially independent,” said Michelle Dolgow Cristofaro, Bronx Chamber of Commerce Chief-of-Staff and H.I.R.E. Administrator.

“Economic abuse fosters financial dependency, which is a major factor why victims stay in an abusive relationship. By partnering with the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Senator Jeff Klein’s office and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s office, Violence Intervention Program, Inc. is looking to provide our clients with tools to gain independence and the freedom of choice to end the cycle of violence. Our clients come from diverse backgrounds with varied experiences. Often times they struggle to find traditional employment and earn livable wages. This initiative will provide our clients with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and build upon their skills, therefore, increasing their chances of obtaining employment in a competitive job market,” said VIP Economic Empowerment Coordinator Isolina De La Cruz.

The announcement came in conjunction with the start of October which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To honor domestic violence victims and promote awareness the Hutchinson Metro Center will be lit in purple for the entire month.

“For the last six years, The Hutchinson Metro Center has lit its complex  purple during the month of October. Purple is a symbol of courage, survival, honor, and has come to represent the fight to end domestic violence. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity for our communities to break the silence that surrounds the issues of this violent crime,” said Joseph Kelleher, President and COO Hutchinson Metro Center.

Bronx H.I.R.E (Help Identify Real Employment) is a unique jobs program aimed at connecting Bronx workers with real jobs through a comprehensive, direct approach developed by Senator Klein’s office and the Bronx Chamber of Commerce. The Bronx H.I.R.E. program, announced in July, is made possible through a $200,000 grant secured by Senator Klein in this year’s state budget.

For more information and to enroll in the Bronx H.I.R.E program, visit: