August 19, 2010Carson, Mayor Help Kickoff YouthBuild Indy Program
Employment And Education Program Begins Construction Training Phase
INDIANAPOLIS - Congressman André Carson and Mayor Greg Ballard joined community partners today to kick off the construction
"The experience and skills these young people gain are crucial to helping them overcome the obstacles they've been faced with," said Congressman Carson. "The benefits for the participants and our community last much longer than the weeks they spend in the program. They leave YouthBuild having the job and life skills necessary to enter the workforce ready to contribute and move our economy forward."
YouthBuild Indy is administered by the Indianapolis Private Industry Council (IPIC) and is principally funded by $2.2 million in employment and training grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor.
This year, energy-efficient housing weatherization training was added to the curriculum, thanks to an additional $100,000 awarded in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The youth participants recently began training at an abandoned house at 840 Beville Ave. The house is owned by Indy-East Asset Development Corporation and is part of a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the Near-Eastside neighborhood. The acquisition of the property was funded by a portion of the $29 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds secured by Congressman Carson in 2008. When construction is completed, the house will be sold to an eligible, low-income family.
Mayor Ballard and Congressman Carson toured the property and spoke with YouthBuild Indy participants at the construction-rehabilitation site today.
"The YouthBuild Indy program gives our community's participating young adults the opportunity to get the basic education and career skills to be successful," said Mayor Ballard. "The on-the-job training prepares our trainees to enter the workforce with experience, and we hope to see many of the participants continue on with higher education upon completion of their GEDs."
Participants must be young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 who have low incomes, have dropped out of high school and are committed to being drug-free. Participants spend half of the 36-week training cycle receiving customized GED, career exploration, life skills, leadership and personal development training. The other half of the cycle is spent performing supervised construction rehabilitation on a vacant home in Marion County, which, when completed, is sold to a qualifying low-income family.
This year's program is the third of four program cycles that have been funded through 2011. The 2010 program has 34 enrolled participants. A total of 74 trainees have completed the first two program phases and completed construction rehabilitation of houses at 934 Beville Ave. and 1940 Lawrence St. In the fall, 34 additional young adults will be recruited to begin the fourth phase in early 2011.
Specifically, participants receive:
IPIC cites solid accomplishments in the program. YouthBuild Indy has been praised for several national best practices, including a designation as a leading alternative education option in Indianapolis in the June 17, 2009, issue of Education Week magazine. So far, 30 participants have earned GEDs and 40 have earned NCCER certifications. There have been eight post-secondary placements, four occupational/vocational placements, and 43 job placements.
Lutheran Children & Family Services is contracted to manage daily operations and services for YouthBuild Indy.
Other key partnerships include:
For more information on YouthBuild Indy's program content, partnerships and partnership opportunities, contact Thomas Major Jr. at (317) 684-2228. To request information on applying to participate in the 2011 YouthBuild Indy program, contact (317) 693-0911.
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