Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
Direct: 352.291.9559 Mobile: 352.816.1264
[email protected]


Phoenix Rising now recruiting candidates for next YouthBuild project

OCALA, Fla. (Dec. 14, 2017) – Phoenix Rising YouthBuild will begin its seventh YouthBuild project in January and is currently recruiting deserving young adults to take part in the award-winning program.

Phoenix Rising helps revitalize economically-challenged areas of Marion County while making a positive difference in the lives of young adults, age 18-24. The ideal candidate is in need of a high school diploma or GED and is willing to work.

Through Phoenix Rising, income-eligible participants 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 homes for deserving families in West Ocala. Additionally, participants may earn their high school diploma or GED as well as industry-recognized certifications while receiving weekly participation payments.

Spearheaded in 2010 by then Ocala Police Chief Sam Williams and the Ocala Police Department. Phoenix Rising partners include Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, the City of Ocala, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Board of County Commissioners, Neighborhood Housing and Development Corporation, Florida State Housing Initiative Partnership (SHIP), Equal Housing Opportunity and CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion and its youth services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development.

Brian Conard, Eckerd area manager, said that participants need to be vetted by the first week in January. Classroom work begins Jan. 26, 2018 and construction on the Habitat home is set for Feb. 5, 2018.

Major funding for the program comes from an $806,000 grant from the US Department of Labor obtained by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion.

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

For more information, call 352-291-9550, ext. 2293.


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