Media Contact:
Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Director of Communications
Office: 352.291.9559 | Mobile: 352.816.1264
[email protected]

OCALA, Fla. (April 27, 2022) – The nationally-acclaimed Phoenix Rising YouthBuild program has received its fourth federally funded grant to provide at-risk young adults with education and occupational skill development to obtain employment in construction and other in-demand industries.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion received $844,712. 

Phoenix Rising YouthBuild is an alternative education, community-based program for 18-24-year-olds that helps revitalize economically challenged neighborhoods while making a positive difference in the lives of deserving young adults.

YouthBuild is a pre-apprenticeship, competitive grant program funded by the US DOL’s Employment and Training Administration. This is the fourth such grant obtained since 2013 by CareerSource CLM in support of the Phoenix Rising YouthBuild; to date, the program has received $3.5 million in YouthBuild grants.

Through Phoenix Rising YouthBuild, students split their time between workplace training and the classroom where they earn their high school diploma, learn to be community leaders, and prepare for postsecondary training opportunities, including college, apprenticeships, and employment. The program also includes significant support systems, such as a mentoring, follow-up education, employment, and personal counseling services as well as participation in community service and civic engagement.

A key feature of Phoenix Rising YouthBuild involves construction of homes for deserving families in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Marion County.

Dale French, CareerSource CLM’s executive vice president, said that being awarded a fourth consecutive YouthBuild grant “is a testament to the strength of our community partnerships, the quality and scope of our local program, and the hard work and diligence put forth by our participating young adults.”

“We have seen the positive impacts this program has had in our community and are excited to begin working on the next two-year cycle,” French said, adding that keys were presented yesterday to the homeowner of the 14th Phoenix Rising YouthBuild home in Marion County.

Phoenix Rising got its start in Ocala in 2011 and has since earned recognition from the Florida League of Cities, National League of Cities, Harvard’s School of Business, and Habitat for Humanity International which awarded the program its highest honor for creativity and innovation in building homes and communities.

CareerSource CLM plans to start recruiting for the next class in the coming months. Those interested in applying for the program or learning more should call 352-732-1700, ext. 2293 or 800-434-JOBS, ext. 2293.

Please check out the photos from the April 26 Phoenix Rising YouthBuild house blessing (which is the 14th Marion County YouthBuild and the final build for the third grant, which is wrapping up):

Also, here is an interview with the homeowner, who surprised her son with their new home:


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 $7.9 million, revised annually. CareerSource CLM is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids/services are available upon request in Spanish and to those with disabilities. All voice 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.

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