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Thursday, February 29, 2024

County recruiting young adults for upcoming Phoenix Rising YouthBuild project

Marion County is recruiting is young adults interested in taking part in the county’s tenth annual Phoenix Rising YouthBuild.

The award-winning program helps revitalize economically-challenged neighborhoods while making a positive difference in the lives of 18-24-year-olds willing to work, in need of a high school diploma and interested in employment and/or postsecondary education or training.

An overview of the program takes place Thursday, July 11 from 10 a.m. to noon and Friday, July 12 from 1-3 p.m. at the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion career center, 2703 NE 14th St., in Ocala. Because space is limited, those interested in attending must schedule a session in advance by calling 352-291-9550 extensions 1215 or 2293.

Through Phoenix Rising YouthBuild, students receive hands-on and classroom training designed to develop workforce skills that lead to employment. A key feature of the program involves construction of Habitat for Humanity homes for deserving families. Additionally, students may earn their high school diploma as well as industry-recognized certifications while receiving weekly participation payments.

Program timeline:

  • Prospective students will “try out” for enrollment in the program by participating in mental toughness and team-building exercises, July 16-23
  • Students will be selected, July 23-24
  • The program starts with OSHA training on July 30
  • Wall raising tentatively set for August 22 at 350 Emerald Road in Silver Springs Shores

Phoenix Rising was spearheaded in 2011 by then Ocala Police Chief Sam Williams in collaboration with CareerSource CLM and its youth services provider, Habitat for Humanity of Marion County and other community partners.

To date, a total of 227 have graduated from Phoenix Rising programs in Marion and Citrus counties. Students built 43 homes, have earned 795 industry certifications including forklift and warehouse certifications, OSHA certification, Florida Safe Staff Food Handling, Home Builders Institute PACT Carpentry certification and the National Retail Federation Customer Service and Sales credential. Since it began, 102 have earned high school diplomas, with more in the pipeline, and 199 gained employment and/or enrolled in a postsecondary program.

Major funding for the program comes from a grant obtained by CareerSource CLM from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Current year federal funding for Youth Build is $466,821.

In addition to Habitat and Eckerd Connects Workforce Development, CareerSource CLM’s youth services provider, primary partners are the City of Ocala, Marion County Board of County Commissioners, College of Central Florida (Hampton Center), Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Neighborhood Housing and Development Corporation, Florida State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) and Equal Housing Opportunity, and Silver River Mentoring & Instruction (SRMI).

Phoenix Rising YouthBuild has become a national model of what communities can build when public and private partners work together. It has earned recognition from the Florida League of Cities, National League of Cities and Harvard’s School of Business. Phoenix Rising 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.