Low-Income Youth to Receive Job Training and Opportunity for Careers in Construction and Facilities Management
PROVIDENCE, RI - July 1, 2011: The Community Builders and YouthBuild USA today announced an innovative partnership in Providence that will provide opportunities for low-income young people enrolled in local YouthBuild programs to build and renovate affordable housing and pursue careers in the real estate industry. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, U.S. Senator Jack Reed, and U.S. Congressman David Cicilline, along with students and local and national YouthBuild leaders, spoke at the event announcing the partnership.
Bart Mitchell, TCB COO, and Dan Lorraine, TCB VP of Property Operations (left, back row), with Mayor Angel Tavares (center) and YouthBuild USA students.
The Community Builders will work with local YouthBuild programs to engage YouthBuild students and graduates in construction projects, provide internships in facilities management, and employ YouthBuild graduates at Community Builders housing sites. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people earn their GEDs or high school diplomas and learn job skills by building affordable housing. The Community Builders is a nonprofit development organization that owns and operates affordable housing in 12 states.
The Community Builders and YouthBuild Providence recently signed an agreement for 10 YouthBuild graduates to renovate two apartment buildings located in the Wanskuck neighborhood of Providence called Olmsted Commons. This property consists of 24 spacious two-bedroom apartments, owned and managed by The Community Builders.
“This new partnership with The Community Builders will result in 10 YouthBuild Providence graduates being employed full-time, as well as provide each of them with real life experiences that will enhance their resumes, making them more marketable toward their future career goals,” said Anthony Hubbard, program director for YouthBuild Providence.
“The partnership between The Community Builders and YouthBuild is an innovative example of how like-minded nonprofit organizations committed to affordable housing can work together to provide quality and cost-effective solutions,” said Dan Lorraine, vice president of property operations at The Community Builders.
Pat McGuigan, executive director of The Providence Plan, said “This is an important opportunity for YouthBuild Providence and The Community Builders to demonstrate that by working together we can accomplish great things for the young people in our community.”
YouthBuild Providence has been in operation since 1997, and over 400 students have helped build 18 units of affordable housing. Nationally, 10,000 low-income, 16 to 24 year-olds work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas annually in YouthBuild programs. These young adults learn job skills by building affordable, and increasingly green, housing for homeless and low-income people. Since 1994, approximately 100,000 YouthBuild students have built 20,000 affordable housing units across the country.
“The Community Builders is providing a unique opportunity for YouthBuild students and graduates to build affordable housing and develop job skills in construction and real estate facilities management,” said Dorothy Stoneman, president and founder of YouthBuild USA. “I am particularly pleased that YouthBuild Providence will enhance its sustainability and provide jobs in the real estate field for YouthBuild graduates, as well as engage more low-income young people in the future.”
This Providence project is expected to be a pilot program that would serve as the model for other local partnerships between The Community Builders and local YouthBuild programs. The organizations are exploring opportunities to expand their unique partnership in other communities in common, including Worcester Mass., Albany N.Y., Hartford Conn., New Haven Conn., and Pittsburgh Pa. A recent graduate of Just A Start YouthBuild, Steven Ibanez of Cambridge Mass., was recently hired as a maintenance technician at The Community Builders-owned Franklin Park and South End apartments in Boston.
YouthBuild USA students address the audience.
Dan Lorraine (speaking) with Bart Mitchell, Senator Jack Reed, Congressman David Cicilline, Mayor Angel Taveras and Providence Plan Executive Director Pat McGuigan (front row).
About The Community Builders:
The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) is one of the largest and most accomplished non-profit development corporations in the United States. Our mission is to build strong communities where people of all incomes can achieve their full potential. We do this by developing, financing and operating high-quality affordable, mixed-income housing, by coordinating access to support services and by planning and implementing other community and economic initiatives critical to the communities we serve. In the last 45 years, we have completed or preserved over 25,000 units of affordable, mixed-income housing and generated over $2.5 billion in development activity. Our property management portfolio consists of more than 100 properties in twelve states and provides almost 8,000 households with attractive, safe and affordable rental housing.
In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work full-time for 6-24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable, increasingly green, housing in their communities. Emphasis is placed on leadership development, community service, and the creation of a positive mini-community of adults and youth committed to each other’s success. Students may earn AmeriCorps education awards through their homebuilding and other community service. At exit, they are placed in college, jobs, or both.
YouthBuild programs are sponsored by local community- and faith-based organizations and public entities that raise funds from a variety of sources, with the primary federal funds administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. There are now 273 YouthBuild programs in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. Since 1994, 100,000 YouthBuild students have built 20,000 units of affordable, increasing green, housing.
About YouthBuild USA:
YouthBuild USA orchestrates advocacy for public funding, guidance and quality assurance in program implementation, leadership opportunities for youth and staff, research to understand best practices, and targeted grants to YouthBuild affiliates. YouthBuild USA received the international Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship and has been named as one of America’s 12 best non-profits in the book “Forces for Good.” To learn more, visit www.youthbuild.org.
About YouthBuild Providence:
YouthBuild Providence is a rigorous workforce development program that helps out-of-school youth gain the academic, job readiness, and occupational skills needed to make a successful transition into the construction industry and other high-growth, high-demand occupational sectors. YouthBuild Providence operates a rigorous 10-month, full-time curriculum designed to provide our students with the academic and workplace skills needed to make a successful transition into the working world. Our model includes an academic curriculum that prepares students for the GED and higher education; job-readiness training that provides students with the skills needed to secure employment in career-oriented professions; and occupational skills in construction – a booming industry in our state that is poised for substantial growth. Students also develop important leadership skills through service learning and other courses. To learn more, visit www.youthbuildprov.org.
About The Providence Plan:
The Providence Plan’s thinking is all about providing residents and public agencies with data and information that can support smart decision making. Our doing is focused on launching innovative service programs that address unmet community needs. The Providence Plan has four distinct programs that focus on workforce development, nonprofit capacity, and early education—Building Futures, New Roots, Ready to Learn, and YouthBuild Providence. These initiatives address the needs of residents at the same time they advance meaningful systems-change. To learn more, visit www.provplan.org.