LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges has announced that it is partnering with Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. to participate in the online Stewards of Children training to combat child sexual abuse. Committed to corporate citizenship, Konica is encouraging its nearly 7,000 employees across the United States to participate.

“We are pleased to partner with Konica Minolta in this endeavor and hope that other employers are inspired to follow suit,’’ said Maureen Simons, senior director of child safety at the Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges, the largest association of YMCAs in New Jersey. “Konica Minolta recognizes that child sexual abuse, perpetrated in the shadows, can be prevented when caring adults learn to recognize the signs and intervene to protect children.”

The Metro YMCA has already trained more than 2,000 adults, including 97 percent of its 1,000-member staff, in the Stewards of Children curriculum, created by the nonprofit Darkness to Light. According to the Y, It is estimated that one in seven girls and one in 25 boys will be sexually abused during their childhood, and about three quarters of victims remain silent about what was done to them for at least a year.

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“Upon learning about the course and the great impact it has on raising awareness and providing knowledge which results in the reduction of child sexual abuse, we became interested in helping the Metro YMCA meet their goal of having five percent of adults in NJ take the training,” said Kevin Kern, senior vice president, Marketing, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., Inc. “This course offers valuable information to all adults, and employee participation is important in helping to promote optimal well-being and development of children in the community.” 

Employees of Ramsey-based Konica Minolta have an impressive track record of participating in community initiatives, and many of them consider the company’s commitment to being a good corporate citizen one of the best parts about working there, Kern said.

Konica Minolta conducts several initiatives each year, mostly geared toward education, STEM education and hunger relief. Most recently, through its “Food for Thought” initiative, employees nationwide provided more than 10,000 nutritious food items to local food banks to support students in need during the summer vacation season. 

The Metro Y continues to spread the word about child sexual abuse through its ‘Kids Matter’ campaign. Simons has met with parent-teacher associations and scheduled trainings for staff of the Maplewood and East Orange libraries. Educators in several school districts and the South Orange Library staff have completed the training, which can be done online or in-person.

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company’s donation of $3,000, in addition to the $1,000 donation from the South Orange Rotary, is being used to cover the cost of materials for community trainings.

Any New Jersey resident can take the two-hour online version of the course for free and information on in-person training sessions can be found HERE.

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