Quincy, MA. - Young people who lack basic education face a lifetime of underemployment and can be at higher risk of homelessness. On February 16, 2007, Training Resources of America, a non-profit agency that helps low-income residents become self-sufficient, got a boost with the announcement of a grant that will bring skills, diplomas, and renovated housing to Quincy.

The $700,000 grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used to continue the successful YouthBuild program. The grant, which was announced by HUD Regional Director Taylor Caswell and Mayor William Phelan, is part of $45.5 million in funding nationwide to help thousands of low-income young people who never finished high school return to school to earn their diplomas, while training them for a future in the construction trades and other careers. YouthBuild grants provide funding to offer job training and leadership skills to more than 3,000 young adults in a nationwide network of more than 200 programs that challenge unemployed and undereducated residents ages 16-24 to work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning construction skills by building or renovating affordable housing for low-income and homeless individuals. The grant to TRA is one of eight awarded in Massachusetts totaling $5.6 million.

“The YouthBuild program serves a population that needs a bridge between youth and adulthood,” said Caswell. “Training Resources of America has an excellent track record using this funding to help teenagers earn their diplomas and start them on a new career path. At the same time we are renovating homes for low-income families, which creates another advantage for the community.”

Since the Quincy YouthBuild program’s inception in 2001, more than 150 people, who previously lacked basic education skills, have successfully gone through the program. During this time, 339 units of low-income housing have been renovated by the YouthBuild students.

According to Isabel J. Cobb, YouthBuild Program Director, “We are thrilled to receive this round of HUD funding to continue our YouthBuild operation here in Quincy. I continually witness firsthand what young people can achieve when provided the opportunity and support to make positive changes in their lives. YouthBuild is a success because it gives participants the tools to build a better future for themselves and their community.”

With this funding, TRA will partner with the Quincy Housing Authority and the City of Quincy to provide education and life skills training to area teenagers while renovating 32 public housing buildings.

TRA has been providing education, employment and job training services in Massachusetts since 1975. Through a variety of programs, TRA has made it possible for thousands of economically disadvantaged youth and adults to improve their lives.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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