The Phoenix Rising YouthBuild program will break new ground with its ninth project in Marion County.
For the first time, the construction portion of the program will take place in Belleview. The wall raising is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 9 a.m. at 10906 SE 54th Ave. in Belleview.
Phoenix Rising has been raising the hopes and expectations of at-risk young adults since 2011. The alternative-education program is designed to help revitalize economically challenged areas in Marion County, while making a positive difference in the lives of young adults ages 18-24.
Through the program, students receive hands-on and classroom training designed to develop workforce skills that lead to employment or a post-secondary education program. A key component of the program involves construction of Habitat for Humanity homes for deserving families.
Additionally, participants may earn their high school diplomas, as well as industry-recognized certifications while receiving weekly participation payments.
CareerSource CLM and its youth services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development, recruit program participants, assign career coaches to help coordinate and oversee the program and provide classroom employability training.
Kimberly Grey, Eckerd’s program manager, said that all 12 students enrolled in the current program have earned their OSHA and Forklift certificates in partnership with the College of Central Florida, and that all are well on their way to earning high school diplomas.
Grey said that anyone interested in the program is encouraged to attend the wall raising – whether a prospective student, program partner or member of the community.
Major funding for the Marion County YouthBuild comes from an $806,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor obtained by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion. The grant covers four Phoenix Rising YouthBuild projects for 48 students.
In addition to CareerSource CLM, Eckerd, Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, YouthBuild and College of Central Florida, primary partners include the Marion County Board of County Commissioners, the City of Ocala, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Neighborhood Housing and Development Corporation, Florida State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP), Equal Housing Opportunity and Silver River Mentoring & Instruction (SRMI).
Phoenix Rising YouthBuild has become a national model of what communities can build when public/private partners work together. It has earned recognition from the Florida League of Cities, National League of Cities and Harvard’s School of Business. The program also received Habitat for Humanity International’s highest honor, the Clarence E. Jordan Award, for creativity and innovation in building homes and communities.
For more information, call (352) 291-9550, ext. 2293.