INTERVIEW: Groundbreaking of new YMCA branch this Friday

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It seems like there is a YMCA at every community, that's because there is. And they will open the 16th location when the Swift Creek Y opens in Chesterfield County. And Barry Taylor, the CEO of the Greater Richmond YMCA joined First at Four.

RYAN: It seems like everything seems to be contracted because of the economy, and why is it that the YMCA is able to expand?

BARRY TAYLOR: People continue to request our services, and both volunteers and staff engaged in all the units in the metropolitan area in Richmond, and being able to serve those in need. And people that step up to the counter and want services at the YMCAare being served as they arrive. And we will be giving out $6 million in financial assistance to make it possible for members to participate.

RYAN: I was struck by that number. 155,000 people are members of Y's, and somewhere along the way. What is it about the Y that makes people want to join and take advantage of your services?

BARRY TAYLOR: We serve infants through seniors, and it takes a lot of programming and activities to make all of that possible and work out. And we build our facilities and conduct our community programs to meet those ultimate needs.

RYAN: The big project you are opening this Friday, 45,000 square foot facility in Swift Creek. What is special about this particular facility?

BARRY TAYLOR: Swift Creek will be built and developed and operated based on what the community has indicated they would like in that immediate area. We did studies in research and we will be in place to meet those demands.

RYAN: Not only do you serve the consumers, the 155,000 members you have, but you are also a major employer in the area. How have you been able to contribute in that way?

BARRY TAYLOR: We hired some 2,000 people on average in the course of the year, and we are going to hire another probably 50 additional people with this new facility. We hire a lot of youth, and teens, and young adults are employed by the YMCA, and we enjoy doing that as well.

RYAN: Good luck with the opening, and thank you for being here.

BARRY TAYLOR: My pleasure.

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