| Kristine Foye
January 31, 2006
HUD ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR WORCESTER YOUTHBUILD PROGRAM
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Taylor Caswell was in Worcester today
to present a $700,000 grant to Training Resources of America. Training Resources of America Incorporated (TRA),
in partnership with the Worcester Housing Authority (WHA), will use the funding to operate a YouthBuild Program
in Worcester. The 30-month program will begin in July.
The grant is part of $58 million in funding nationwide, and more than $4.2 million in Massachusetts, to help
thousands of low-income young people return to school and begin new careers in the homebuilding field. YouthBuild grants provide funding to offer job training and leadership skills to an estimated 4,300 young people in a nationwide network of more than 200 programs that challenge unemployed and undereducated young people, ages 16-24, to work toward their GED while learning construction skills by building or renovating affordable housing for low-income and homeless individuals.
"Training Resources of America has an excellent track record administering the YouthBuild program, and this funding we announce today will help young people in Worcester get back on the right track by not only providing them the education they need but the training they can use for future careers," said Caswell.
According to Paul J. Gallo, President of TRA, "This is the sixth YouthBuild Program that TRA, as lead agency, has operated in Worcester since the program's inception in January 1999. Our partnership with WHA is a positive joint venture that is greatly benefiting the Worcester community. I look forward to continuing the YouthBuild services
over the next two years with our newly awarded HUD funds."
TRA's Worcester division, will oversee program operations and provide GED preparation, life skills, job readiness
and leadership skills development training for the youth. WHA will provide the on-site skills training component incorporating a variety of rehabilitation, preventive maintenance, and landscaping projects at 900 housing units
in the Great Brook Valley neighborhood. Participants will also benefit from a myriad of support services from both organizations as well as access to WHA's Step-Up Program, an advanced Department of Labor (DOL) approved apprenticeship program.
Paul Giorgio, Chairman of the Worcester Housing Authority, said "Along with providing safe, affordable housing, The WHA's mission includes finding ways to help residents improve the quality of their lives. The YouthBuild program
should help us reach a number of young people who might otherwise fall through the cracks."
Since its inception, the Worcester YouthBuild program has serviced more than 140 economically disadvantaged
youth. In turn, these young people have helped to rehabilitate/construct 10 low-income housing units in Worcester including a new two family home at 41 Wall Street that was part of the "Project Remember" initiative honoring the
six fallen Worcester firefighters. TRA's partnership with WHA to date has improved 250 low income housing units. Other program outcomes include: job placement, enrollment into higher education/apprenticeship training,
attainment of GEDs, increased self-esteem, and a sense of the importance of community service.
The Worcester YouthBuild program is honored to receive HUD funding to continue its efforts in providing quality programming and community enhancement for the City of Worcester. According to Lisa Welcome, YouthBuild
Program manager, "I am very excited to receive HUD funding. The Worcester program will benefit greatly. I
continually witness first-hand what young people can do when provided the opportunity to make positive changes
in their lives. YouthBuild works because it takes a holistic approach to training and gives participants the tools to
build a better future."
The program is currently recruiting young people. Eligible applicants must be age 16 to 24 out-of-school youth
without a high school diploma or GED, a resident of WHA, and willing to work hard to change their lives and their community. For further information, contact TRA's Christine Howard at (508) 753-2991.
NOTE: For Information on Training Resources of America, please call Lisa Welcome, (508) 753-2991