#KCCornerstone Finalist: EPEC & The Grooming Project

In Cornerstone Awards by EDCKC Staff

EPEC & The Grooming Project
5829 Troost, Suite B
Kansas City, Missouri 64110

The Grooming Project is a pilot program of EPEC – Empowering Parents to Empower the Child, a 501c3 nonprofit devoted to empowering families to become self-reliant through job training, life skills and practical solutions that help end the cycle of poverty.

In 2015, EPEC received a grant from the city of Kansas City, Missouri and signed a lease on a city-owned garage that had been sitting vacant on Troost Avenue for nearly 30 years. Six months and $215,000 later, the garage has been transformed into a pet grooming school, which research reveals is a high-demand profession in Kansas City. It is also a profession in which individuals with barriers to stable employment – including past addiction, criminal records and incomplete education – can find employment.

Upon completion of the grooming program, students may work in one of KC’s 200 pet salons, or they could even start their own animal grooming business! The grooming school program requires 644 classroom hours in 23 weeks and is taught by experienced instructors in a commercial grooming salon.

Additional outreach programs, like the parenting program, teaches students the importance of “active” parenting, higher education, budget management, nurturing skills and provides them with an abundance of resources. Each student has a volunteer mentor who they meet with weekly to help with household budgeting and parenting concerns. Mentors are also parents in the community who understand the hardship EPEC students face and work hard to encourage success.

Please visit The Grooming Project’s website for more information.