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South Side Youth to Get Construction Jobs Training & Certification in YouthBuild

CHICAGO (February 23, 2017) – Sixty young adults ages 18-24 from underserved communities on Chicago’s South Side will gain hands-on construction training and certification for future jobs through a new YouthBuild program launching in Chicago. A special event celebrating the launch is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. on Friday, March 3, 2017 at Metropolitan Family Services Calumet Center, 235 E. 103rd St., Chicago.

U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (IL-2), frequently quoted as saying “nothing stops a bullet like an opportunity,” plans to attend, and other legislators and community leaders have been invited.

“One of the best ways to address the crisis we are facing in our city is to equip youth with training for jobs that enables them to live productive lives,” says Audrena Spence, Executive Director of Metropolitan Family Services Calumet. “We at Metropolitan Family Services are truly excited about the difference YouthBuild will make in the lives of our participants and our communities.”

Metropolitan Family Services received a 3-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to provide the program, which is operated by Metropolitan in partnership with DOL and City Incite. Thirty young adults will participate in the program’s starting round, with 180 total taking part by the end of the three-year grant period.

YouthBuild USA has a network of 260 urban and rural programs in 46 states, all sponsored and managed by local nonprofits such as Metropolitan.

YouthBuild targets youth who have not completed high school and/or who are unemployed with the goal of equipping them with solid skills and certification for future careers in construction. Program participants will alternate between the classroom and the work site as they learn construction skills while building affordable housing in their communities, ensuring the positive impact of the program long after they have graduated from the program.

About Metropolitan Family Services Calumet Center
Called the “Miracle on 103rd Street,” Metropolitan Family Services Calumet Center has been serving families on Chicago’s far South Side since 1955, with programs ranging from youth leadership and economic development to senior care and violence intervention. Metropolitan Calumet is part of Metropolitan Family Services, which has been empowering Chicago-area families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities since 1857.