When Keegan Valiton started his YouthBuild Worcester journey in November 2019, the world was a much different place. An eager 22 year old from Worcester, he was described by staff as a “sponge” for information in both the classroom and on the training worksite.

Keegan learned carpentry skills at two(2) YouthBuild Worcester construction sites. At 24 Merrick Street, he worked on a new construction LEED certified 900 square foot home, in partnership with Worcester Common Ground, Inc., Saint-Gobain Corporation, and YouthBuild USA. Additionally, in partnership with Worcester East Side Community Development Corporation, Keegan worked at 12 Forbes Street helping to build a new 790 square foot home. Upon completion, both homes will be sold to low-income, first-time homebuyers.

When COVID-19 changed the world, Keegan showed his resilience and worked just as hard with remote learning – he remained consistent and maintained stellar attendance throughout. He displayed great leadership qualities, and was quick to help staff guide other students once they were able to return to the worksite. After completing his HBI PACT certification, he remained a great help and assisted the team in finishing up the Forbes Street home.

During his time with YouthBuild Worcester, Keegan worked with our YouthBuild Case Manager and put in a tremendous amount of effort to perfect his resume and interview skills. He completed the program in the fall of 2020. Like other alumni of the YouthBuild program, Keegan kept in close contact with the staff, continuing to set goals and work towards obtaining his high school equivalency diploma.

YouthBuild Worcester created a new position of Assistant Worksite Trainer, and Keegan was one of the first applicants. During his interview with the Worcester Program Director, Keegan demonstrated the strong interview skills he learned in YouthBuild and became a top candidate for the position. Staff recommended him and spoke of his natural aptitude for carpentry and his ability to help fellow students. Keegan was offered the position and joined the team at Training Resources of America.

As Keegan says, “YouthBuild has helped me become more social as well as gain construction skills. The staff helped me a lot in the classroom and helped me get this job. YouthBuild is a really good program and I would recommend it to anyone.”

Since coming aboard he has proven to be a valuable team player and a wonderful role model. He has excelled on the construction site, participated in staff meetings, and contributed great new ideas for the program. In addition to his new job he is also preparing to take the HiSET exams soon to achieve his high school equivalency diploma and apply for an apprenticeship with the Local 336 Carpenters Union.

Congratulations Keegan and welcome to the TRA team!

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© 2021 Training Resources of America, Inc. 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 Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education-YouthBuild Funds and Saint-Gobain Corporation.

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