What is Our Piece of the Pie?

A youth business program that offers life skills training and job opportunities for youths in Hartford, Bristol and New Britain.


Paraphrased from The Hartford Courant, June 12, 2001.
Our Piece of the Pie of Hartford works with DCF, the Department of Labor and the state office for workforce competitiveness. The program offers life skills training and job opportunities for youths in Hartford, Bristol and New Britain.

Youths of Our Piece of the Pie build boats, publish a community newspaper or work in a greenhouse work. They also learn how to prepare for job interviews, write a resume and they have the chance to meet local employers for possible work. Youths are paid a small stipend for their work. Programs are run as a business and some have turned a profit.


Our Piece of the Pie Goals

  • Create youth work opportunities to teach students about business, entrepreneurship, and careers.
  • Teach the importance of in school and on-the-job learning experiences critical to the achievement of career goals.
  •  Create year around youth businesses to provide products or services needed by the local community. Youth businesses provide vehicles for hands-on learning and are managed by teams of students, college undergraduates (role models) and adults (technical expertise).
  • Grow leaders for OPP and the community.


Our Piece of the Pie Ventures

Drums Not Drugs uses the musical talents of Ajali, an African-drumming performance group from Trinidad-Tobago. Ajali teaches youth participants to construct and play the "djembe", a drum from West Africa. Youth participants learn to construct the drum from a shell to a finished product worth $500, put on a concert and record a CD.

Jam (junior art makers) a youth art company where youth aged 10-18 create art-related products. Jam youth participate in design, marketing sales, packaging and distribution of products and share profits earned.

River Wrights Boat Builders is a youth boat building company where youth learn the exact art of building boats and other small crafts. They gain valuable work experience and life skills including basic math, decision-making, problem-solving, and teamwork The wooden boats are sold or donated to not-for-profit camps.


To the Hand, a nail-design training program, teaches youth about basic manicure technology, health/safety concerns, careers and principles in nail design. Youth learn beginning, intermediate, and advanced skills in manicure design and entrepreneurship. Graduates are placed in part-time jobs at local salons.


Crunch Time is a sound recording business located in Hartford, Participants learn basic functions of a miscing board, formatting popular songs and using multiple sequences. The program uses a 16-week curriculum of integrated learning.


Urban Greens is collaboration between The Gathering Place, Hartford Public Schools ad OPP. Students receive instruction on horticulture, nutrition, health, and hands-on experience raising herbs and vegetables at the Hartford greenhouse. Students utilize OPP's entrepreneurial and pre-employment training to build a profit pool earned from the sale of herbs and vegetables to local restaurants.


Echoes from the Street is a youth newspaper company. While much training focuses on reporting fundamentals, youth also cover the basics of writing and literacy skills, Other skills include photography, design, computer and internet-aided reporting, interviewing and transcription.

For more information about our programs or merchandise please call:

Gerard Hector
Canton, CT 06019
Tel: 860-352-2366
Email: info@drumsnotdrugs.com

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