e: info@northsideup.org | ph: 315.470.1902

115 W Fayette Street Syracuse, NY 13202

What We Do

Focus Area


The Northside is a dynamic place; improving quality of life requires a diverse set of strategies. The work of Northside UP reflects this philosophy. Our efforts ultimately fall within three categories: People, Place and Business.

Workforce Development / Arts & Community Events

The Northside has long served as Syracuse’s point of entry for people seeking to start a new life in the United States. Historically a working-class neighborhood, it was first settled in the 19th-century by German immigrants. An influx of Italians followed the Germans, leaving an imprint that inspired the area’s current moniker — Little Italy. However, with over 30 nationalities present today, the Northside can be more accurately described as a neighborhood of many nations. This diversity gives rise to a unique feel that cannot be found in any other part of the city.

Northside UP incites change in this dynamic neighborhood by empowering residents to fuel community revitalization. Acknowledging that obstacles, such as high unemployment, poverty and food insecurity, inhibit residents from achieving tangible results, Northside UP facilitates workforce and cultural development opportunities. Through a multitude of programs and activities, we take on the role of partner, trainer, artist, advocate and mentor in hopes of rallying individuals around collaborative revitalization efforts.

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Green Train

Green Train is a hands-on workforce training program developed by Northside UP and CenterState CEO.

Green Train provides unemployed and under-employed people with a unique training opportunity that integrates vocational training with life skills and job readiness coaching. Students complete 10-hour OSHA training and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) core curriculum, including safety, hand and power tools, construction drawing and materials handling. Students participate in community-based projects designed to hone carpentry, construction and weatherization skills while fostering a sense of ownership in their community. Students also learn employability and career skills. Through this program, neighborhood residents increase their potential for long-term employment in construction, weatherization and emerging green industries. The Green Train program consistently maintains a high graduation and job placement rate.

To learn more, check out the video below:

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Health Train

Health Train is a workforce training program developed by Northside UP and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center (SJHHC).

Health Train identifies and prepares unemployed and under-employed people for entry-level positions such as housekeeper, patient transporter, and dietary worker with partnering health care employers. In each session, students participate in a three-week course encompassing orientation to the healthcare work environment, job readiness, life skills, wellness strategies, financial literacy and occupational health and safety.  Students complete an unpaid internship leading into employment. The Health Train program consistently maintains a high graduation and placement rate and supports students after graduation to maintain employment and access career-advancing opportunities.

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Salt City DISHES

Salt City DISHES (Dine in. Support Happenings. Enliven Syracuse!) is one of Northside UP’s sponsored events.
DISHES is a recurring community dinner, which funds creative public projects that enliven the city of Syracuse. At the event, guests offer a donation for which they receive a home-cooked, locally sourced meal and a ballot to vote on project proposals. Proposals are voted on during the dinner as select community members present their ideas. The winner is awarded money collected from the entrance fee to help realize their project and returns to the next DISHES to report on their progress.

Public Art / Urban Gardens & Green Space / Housing Development / Commercial Development

The Northside is a unique place in the city’s urban fabric, grounded by many landmarks. Rising above the neighborhood skyline are Assumption Church, built by German immigrants in the mid-19th century, and St. Joseph’s Hospital, which can trace its Prospect Hill roots to 1869. The North Salina Street corridor contains a walkable mixed use commercial district, replete with many turn of the century buildings. The Hawley Green neighborhood is home to many Victorian-era buildings, where people continue to invest in this burgeoning district by renovating their properties and businesses.

The Northside UP builds on the historic fabric of the neighborhood while addressing today’s challenges. In recent years, blight has taken hold on the Northside, signified by boarded up homes, vacant lots, abandoned storefronts, trash and graffiti. Northside UP works on these issues by infusing innovative elements that create the infrastructure necessary for a “livable community”, a place where people want to live, work and play.

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Green Space Revitalization

Northside UP reclaims blighted properties for the creation of community gardens, pockets parks and green corridors.
To accomplish this, local businesses, community groups and neighborhood residents are rallied around distressed sites in the community. Northside UP organizes the planning, design, and construction of these sites, leveraging the resources and skills of our committed partners. This process provides an opportunity to meet community needs by growing fresh food, learning new skills, and connecting with each other while improving the physical environment of the neighborhood.

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Public Art

In collaboration with local artists, Northside UP creates public art that celebrates and adds vibrancy to the neighborhood.

We create public art that revitalizes storefronts, enlivens public parks and transforms vacant spaces. These projects add beauty and provide an identity to previously neglected spaces. By attracting positive attention and inspiring conversation between community members, these sites empower residents and build on the potential of the neighborhood.

Business Partnerships / Entrepreneurship Program / Small Business Assistance

Small, independently owned businesses, offering a variety of goods and services, have been the backbone of the Northside for generations. German and Italian immigrants set up shops in the mid-19th century, some of which still cater to the needs of the community today. The current ethnic diversity of the Northside is reflected in the many small stores run by refugees from Africa and Asia. This historic neighborhood lends itself to casually strolling through a sampling of eclectic shops.

In addition to attracting visitors to the commercial district, Northside UP seeks to support continued business development in the neighborhood. Northside UP partners with the Greater North Salina Street Business Association and the Small Business Development Center to provide new and existing entrepreneurs access to resources to help them overcome the challenges of owning and operating a small business. With its numerous small storefronts, the Northside is a great place for the next generation of entrepreneurs to weave fresh creative business ventures into the existing fabric of the neighborhood. We are here to help, whether you are thinking of starting a business, working to expand your existing establishment, or looking to discover the Northside.

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Northside Business Partnership

Because strong commercial districts are essential to vibrant communities, the Northside Business Partnership works to promote, support and engage Northside businesses.

The Partnership is a collaboration between Northside UP, the Greater North Salina Business Association, and Centerstate CEO. Partnership members receive benefits such as collective marketing, advocacy, discounts on supplies and services, and technical assistance for property and business development. The Partnership also serves as a vehicle by which local businesses can engage in and contribute to Northside UP’s revitalization efforts.

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UP Start Syracuse

UP Start Syracuse is a collaborative program that empowers the next generation of urban entrepreneurs to start businesses and improve the Syracuse community. The program targets individuals who face barriers to business ownership and works to unleash their entrepreneurial potential. Participants receive comprehensive in-classroom training; test their ideas and interact with critical support systems during business incubation; and generate capital to launch successful businesses. Graduates of the program are offered incentives to locate their business within Syracuse’s business districts – restoring vitality and a sense of community ownership to urban neighborhoods.

Program Partners: Catholic Charities of Onondaga County,  CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, Clean Tech Center, Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Hopeprint, NYS Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College, ProLiteracy, Raymond Von Dran IDEA, SCORE, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, SyracuseFirst, SUNY Educational Opportunity Center, the Tech Garden, and with generous support from the Central New York Community Foundation.