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On Thursday, November 29, 2018, twenty-three (23) students graduated from the Worcester YouthBuild Program, operated by Training Resources of America, Inc. (TRA). The ceremony took place at Mechanics Hall, 2nd Floor (Washburn Hall) 321 Main Street, Worcester, MA. Representative James J. O’Day (D-West Boylston, an ardent supporter of YouthBuild was keynote speaker.

The graduates, ages 17 to 25, include: Bishop Bennett, Kylie Blanchard, Kianna Carrasquillo, Derrick Cormier, Nanushka Cruz, Jazlynda DeJesus, Lansana Fofanah, John Johnson lll, Tatianna Johnson, Joseph Joslyn, Tatyanna Lynch, Damian Mallett, Trevor Mallett, Steven Munderu, Cheyenne Neal, Johnathan Nieves, Christopher Quinn, Eisha Rodriguez, Lizmarie Rodriguez, Michelle Smith, Kenneth Snider, Meleny Toro, and Kaleyshmi Vazquez.

Worcester YouthBuild provides comprehensive training to young people ages 16 to 24 that meet low-income guidelines, are not in school, have not received a high school diploma or High School Equivalency or are basic skills deficient, and demonstrate a willingness to work hard for personal and community change.

Students receive instruction in High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) preparation, self-esteem, life, work readiness, and leadership skills, including community service opportunities. Additionally, participants choose between two skills training tracks: Construction - where they learn carpentry/ building skills utilizing an actual housing rehab or new construction project which helps create quality low-income housing in Worcester and Nursing Assistant – where they learn nurse aide and home health aide skills via a partnership with the American Red Cross. Extensive support services include counseling/ case management, job development/ placement assistance, as well as transition to higher education and follow-up services.

In addition to attaining their High School Equivalency certificates, Construction track students earn OSHA, and Home Builder’s Institute Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Training (HBI-PACT) certificates and Nursing Assistant track students earn their state nurse aide and CPR certifications, as well as American Red Cross home health aide certifications.

This year, Worcester YouthBuild continued its partnership with the American Red Cross for the nurse assistant training and Worcester Common Ground, Inc. (WCG) where students learned carpentry skills through the sustainable gut rehab of 2 low income housing units located at 21 Jaques Avenue, Worcester. Additionally, Worcester YouthBuild continued its long-standing partnership with building materials manufacturer Saint-Gobain through the Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation and with support from the Saint-Gobain family of companies who provided financial assistance and volunteers to teach Science and Math in the YouthBuild classroom.

Program Manager Doug Daigle, TRA President Kim Harmon, and Representative James O’Day joined family and friends in celebrating the young peoples’ many accomplishments.

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