It was graduation time for Educational Service District (ESD) 101's Spokane Service Team and Youthbuild Spokane members in September.
Over the past year, the Spokane Service Team and Youthbuild Spokane thrived. A perfect 100 percent of participants completed their terms in ESD 101's construction/life skills training programs. The 14 Spokane Service Team and five Youthbuild Spokane graduates are eligible for a combined total of $59,835 in federal AmeriCorps education awards.
Several participants in ESD 101's Youthbuild Spokane and Spokane Service Team celebrate their recent graduation: Kneeling in front, from left, are Noah McNutt, Jeff Cochran, Jason Overdorff and Rodney Bocook. Standing in back, from left, are Matt Bentz, Gene Poe, Tim Northington, William (Striker) Jackson and Eric Sommerfeld.
This past year, trainees finished construction of three houses in the City of Spokane Valley, started work on three new homes in the City of Spokane and rehabilitated 19 others - projects valued at more than $750,000. In addition, crews completed four capital improvement projects for local nonprofit agencies, including The Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, Richard Allen Enterprises and the Northeast Community Center. A contract with Inland Empire Residential Resources, a nonprofit housing developer for people with special needs, includes ongoing maintenance and repairs on 22 properties.
Four from the latest graduating class have already put their hands-on construction training to work in full-time jobs. Three are looking for work, another three are headed to college and one enlisted in the U.S. Army. Eight plan to serve a second term of service, building affordable housing and nonprofit capital improvement projects that benefit some of the most vulnerable populations in Spokane County.
The Spokane Service Team started 12 years ago, providing construction training to young adults (ages 18 to 25) through affordable housing and nonprofit capital improvement projects. Youthbuild Spokane was launched in the spring of 2003 with a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and specifically targets high school dropouts (ages 18 to 24), re-engaging them in the educational process. The Spokane Service Team and Youthbuild Spokane are AmeriCorps national service programs, which makes participants eligible for education awards upon completion of their terms of service.
For more information on the Spokane Service Team, Youthbuild Spokane and ESD 101's other workforce development activities, contact Anne Millane, Center for School to Work director, 456-7660.