Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Director of Communications
352-291-9559 | 352-873-7939, ext. 1234
[email protected]

OCALA, Fla. (Sept. 7, 2022) – Recruiting is under way for deserving young adults interested in taking part in Marion County’s 15th Phoenix Rising YouthBuild.

To kick off the program, an Open House will be held Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 4-6 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Community Center, 1510 NW Fourth St., in Ocala. The event is designed to acquaint interested participants, family members, and community partners with Phoenix Rising YouthBuild. Light refreshments will be provided.

The award-winning program, now in its 11th year, helps revitalize economically challenged neighborhoods while making a positive difference in the lives of those ages 18-24 who are willing to work, in need of a high school diploma, and interested in employment and/or postsecondary education or training.

Detailed program overviews of the program will be held Friday, Sept.30 at 10 a.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 4 at the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion career center, 2703 NE 14th St., in Ocala. Because space is limited, those interested in attending must schedule a session in advance by calling 352-291-9550, ext. 1215 or by texting YB to 352-299-7999.

Through Phoenix Rising YouthBuild, students receive hands-on and classroom training designed to develop workforce skills that lead to employment. A key feature of the program involves construction of Habitat for Humanity of Marion County homes for deserving families. Additionally, students may earn their high school diploma as well as industry-recognized certifications while receiving weekly participation payments.

Phoenix Rising was spearheaded in 2011 by then Ocala Police Chief Sam Williams in collaboration with CareerSource CLM and its youth services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development, as well as Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, and the City of Ocala. Additional primary partners are the Marion County Board of County Commissioners, College of Central Florida (Hampton Center), Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Neighborhood Housing and Development Corporation, Florida State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP) and Equal Housing Opportunity.

Major funding for the program comes from a grant obtained by CareerSource CLM from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Current federal funding for YouthBuild is $844,712. The two-year grant covers training for 48 students and construction of four homes

To date, a total of 291 young adults have graduated from Phoenix Rising programs in Marion and Citrus counties. Students participating in the program have helped build 48 homes, 105 have earned high school diplomas, and 250 have gained employment and/or enrolled in postsecondary programs. In addition, graduates have earned 1,307 industry certifications including forklift and warehouse certifications, OSHA certification, Florida Safe Staff Food Handling, Home Builders Institute PACT Carpentry certification and the National Retail Federation Customer Service and Sales credential.

Phoenix Rising YouthBuild has become a national model of what communities can build when public and private partners work together. It has earned recognition from the Florida League of Cities, National League of Cities and Harvard’s School of Business. Phoenix Rising also received the Clarence E. Jordan Award, Habitat for Humanity International’s highest honor for creativity and innovation in building homes and communities.

For more information, call 352-291-9550, ext.1215.


Phoenix Rising is sponsored by a YouthBuild grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, and community partners.                    

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is a member of CareerSource Florida and a proud partner of the American Job Center network. CareerSource CLM is supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and other agencies as part of awards totaling $8.2 million (revised annually). Unless otherwise stipulated, all statements, news releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations and other applicable documents are fully funded from federal sources. CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program.

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities and in Spanish. All voice telephone numbers listed above may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. If you need accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or email [email protected]. Please make request at least three business days in advance. Stay connected with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion on FacebookTwitterYouTube,  and LinkedIn

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