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

OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 3, 2021) – Recruiting is under way for deserving young adults interested in taking part in Marion County’s 13th Phoenix Rising YouthBuild.

The award-winning alternative education, community based program helps revitalize economically challenged neighborhoods while making a positive difference in the lives of 18-to 24-year-olds willing to work, in need of a high school diploma, and interested in employment and/or postsecondary education or training.

Program overviews take place Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. 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.

Through Phoenix Rising YouthBuild, students receive hands-on occupational skill development and classroom training designed to lead to employment in construction and other in-demand industries. 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. Students also take part in community service and civic engagement projects.

CareerSource CLM’s youth services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development, provides significant support such as mentoring and career counseling designed to lead to postsecondary training opportunities including college, apprenticeships and employment. The career coaches and success mentors also work alongside students at the construction site.

Program timeline:

> Prospective students will “try out” for enrollment in the program by participating in mental toughness and team-building exercises, Aug. 9-13

> Students will be selected, Aug. 16

> Program starts on Aug. 23

> Tentative graduation Jan. 20, 2022

Phoenix Rising was spearheaded in 2011 by then Ocala Police Chief Sam Williams in collaboration with CareerSource CLM, Eckerd Connects and Habitat for Humanity and other community partners. To date, 253 students have participated in Phoenix Rising YouthBuild programs in Marion and Citrus counties and have completed 36 homes.

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 year federal funding for YouthBuild is $741,000.

Primary partners include YouthBuild, the City of Ocala, 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), Equal Housing Opportunity, and Silver River Mentoring & Instruction (SRMI).

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 Habitat for Humanity International’s Clarence E. Jordan Award which is Habitat’s highest honor for creativity and innovation in building homes and communities.

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


CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and other agencies as part of awards totaling $7.9 million (revised annually). CareerSource CLM 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 accommodations are needed, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or e-mail [email protected]. CareerSource CLM is a member of CareerSource Florida and a proud partner of the American Job Center network.  Stay connected with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion on FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram and LinkedIn

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