Media contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications manager
O: 352.291.9559 | M: 352.816.1264
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June 19, 2019 (Ocala, Fla.) – Fifteen students will graduate Monday from the Citrus County Phoenix Rising program. The program enabled students to work toward earning a high school diploma while being paid for on-the-job training in construction.

Graduation takes place starting at 10:30 a.m. at Withlacoochee Technical College, 1201 W. Main St., in Inverness.

Citrus County’s Phoenix Rising is based on a successful program launched in Marion County in 2011. That program expanded to Crystal River in 2015 and Inverness in 2016, but has been renovated to build on the area’s booming interest in the construction industry.

Job growth in the industry is projected to increase 12.78 percent statewide through 2026, according to the Florida Research and Economic Information Database Application (FREIDA).

Through Phoenix Rising, young adults age 18 to 24 enrolled in WTC’s construction program and received work experience training with Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County, with wages paid by CareerSource CLM.

CareerSource CLM also hired construction supervisors and provided career coaches through its youth services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development, to help manage the project and assist students in the classroom develop work readiness and soft skills.

Kimberly Grey, Eckerd program manager, said that 10 homes were built to various stages in the East Beecher Court/South Apopka Avenue area near WTC in Inverness. Additionally, Grey said that eight members of the class have earned their high school diplomas with more in the pipeline.

Also, in partnership with WTC, graduates have so far earned a total of 112 industry credentials: American Hotel and Lodging Education Institute Hospitality certificate, Forklift certification, OSHA 10 Hour certificate, National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Certificate in Carpentry, Food Handler and National Retail Federation Customer service and CPR.

Those completing the program are John Adams, Luke Adams, Melissa Antley, Sunni Barber, James Bentely, Justin Darlington, Erin Foreman, Matthew Kiker, Lukas Knight, Nathaniel Luttrell, Nathaniel Perry, Rachael Staff, Evan Westcamp, Daniel Wielontek and Justin Woodworth.

Adams will be a featured speaker during the commencement program along with Al Jones, area manager for AutoZone and a CareerSource CLM board member.


CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program. Aids/services available upon request in Spanish and to persons with disabilities. All phone numbers may be reached using TTY/TDD equipment via Florida Relay Service at 711. For accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or email [email protected] at least three business days in advance. CareerSource CLM is a proud partner of the American Job Center network and member of CareerSource Florida.


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