New YMCA Branch Will Open in Chesterfield
The YMCA will break ground on Friday for its 16th branch in the Richmond area.
The new Y will be in the Swift Creek area of Chesterfield County.
Taylor: In southwest Chesterfield County near the intersection of Otterdale and Hampton Park Drive, which is just off Hull Street and directly adjacent to the property that's recently been developed for the Woodlake United Methodist Church.
Barry Taylor is President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Richmond.
Taylor: We've been engaged in a lot of strategic discussions over the last 5+ years; that's followed with some discussions around our needs from a facility expansion standpoint, existing YMCA locations plus consideration of new locations. We've worked to keep pace with the way in which we felt that we could raise necessary funds to make these projects possible, and that's come to fruition over time. We're not moving at the pace we'd like to, frankly, but we're very pleased with what we've been able to accomplish so far.
The Y these days, Taylor said, includes a much broader range of programs than it did when he began working there as a teenager 35 years ago.
Taylor: We found, as populations have moved, the same needs that existed in the cities early on in the life of the YMCA are now existing in suburban communities and urban communities, as well as rural communities and we move according to the direction that the population's moving without changing and moving away from the city locations where we are and other places where we've had long-term commitments and engagement with families and communities.
The Y functions as a community for communities.
Taylor: Who would be better suited to deal with, directly with, the major health issues that people are experiencing in today’s climate.
There are programs, for example, that teach 2,000 City of Richmond second graders to swim every year, programs to help teenagers build confidence and programs for people with special needs.
Taylor: I'm told that there are some sixty million people, for example, that are referred to as pre-diabetic, that are on the verge over the next decade of becoming diabetic unless they change patterns, their lifestyle, and we're very open and wanting these individuals to step forward and join us.
The YMCA is among the largest non-profit organizations in the area and is heavily involved with charitable work. Membership is open to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
Taylor: We're very pleased, as a part of our charitable work, that we deliver services through people. We have about 2000 people on our payroll; the bulk of them are part-timers, everything from a two hour a week aerobics instructor to someone guarding our pools, but we also have a full-time professional staff group of about 250. If you add up all the hours of all our employees over the course of a week and divide by 40, it comes out to about 630 full-time employees, so it wasn't something we were seeking, but it turned out last year, I believe, we were the 46th largest private employer in the greater Richmond community, so we enjoy that status. We enjoy also that the bulk of our employees are young, youthful teenagers, young adults that are going through high school and college and so forth, so we're also a big employer of youth.
The Y is also in the process of updating its logo.
Taylor: We're calling ourselves "The Y," but you'll notice on our logo the MCA is still quite prevalent and present; we have not in any way changed our mission, which is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that develop healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
John Ogle, WCVE News