On Friday, November 12, 2021, thirteen (13) students graduated from the YouthBuild Worcester Program, operated by Training Resources of America, Inc. (TRA). The private & COVID-19 friendly ceremony took place at the TRA’s Worcester’s office, at 2 Foster Street.

The graduates, ages 17 to 24, included students from the Greater Worcester Area: Luis Carrion (18), Gabby Fortin (18), David Germain (19), Kianna Giguere (19), Xavier Johnson (18), Robert Laythe (17), Tianna Maloney (21), Brandon Mason (21), Devin Pye (17), Alexis Ramirez Dunlop (18), Doug Scherer (21), Emily Smith (24) and Dante Sodano (19).

Students received 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. 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, and home health aide certifications.

This year, Worcester YouthBuild continued its partnership with The Fieldstone School for the nurse assistant training and Worcester Common Ground, Inc. for construction where students learned carpentry skills through a ground up build at 24 Merrick Street which was sold to a First Time Homebuyer in Worcester. Additionally, YouthBuild Worcester 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.

The total cost of YouthBuild Worcester program is $1,330,396. $1,064,317 (80%) is funded through a U.S. Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration grant. The other $266,079 (20%) is funded through State and Local resources, including the Mass Department of Elementary & Secondary Education-YouthBuild Funds and Saint-Gobain Corporation.

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