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

OCALA, Fla. (Dec. 17, 2019) – The nationally-acclaimed Phoenix Rising YouthBuild program has received its third federally funded YouthBuild grant to provide at-risk young adults with education and occupational skill development to obtain employment in construction and other
in-demand industries.

The US Department of Labor announced Monday the award of 67 grants across 28 states totaling up to $85 million to support and expand YouthBuild programs throughout the country.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion received $740,737 to assist with the local program, one of only two such grants awarded in Florida. The other is Tampa Bay Academy of Hope which received $1.5 million.

Phoenix Rising YouthBuild is an alternative education, community-based program that helps revitalize economically challenged neighborhoods while making a positive difference in the lives of at-risk 16- to 24-year olds.

YouthBuild is a pre-apprenticeship, competitive grant program funded by the US DOL’s Employment and Training Administration. This is the third YouthBuild grant obtained since 2013 by CareerSource CLM in support of the program; to date, it has received $2.63

Dale French, CareerSource CLM’s director of operations, said “We are pleased to be recognized for being a high-performing YouthBuild program.

“The opportunity to receive continued funding speaks volumes for our staff and partners that make this program happen.”

Enrollment will begin in early spring for the next round of projects. Those interested in applying for the program or learning more should call 352-732-1700, ext. 2293 or 800-434-JOBS, ext. 2293.

Through Phoenix Rising YouthBuild, students split their time between the vocational training work site 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 the program involves construction of homes for deserving families in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Marion County.

The grant will serve 48 young adults over 24 months, resulting in the construction of four homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. It begins Jan. 1, 2020 and runs through April 30, 2022.

To date, 229 students have taken part in Phoenix Rising programs in Marion and Citrus counties, completing construction of 34 homes. Those include the 15 who graduated today from Marion County’s 10th Phoenix Rising YouthBuild.

Phoenix Rising was spearheaded here in 2010 by then Ocala Police Chief Sam Williams. Pilot partners included the Ocala Police Department, Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, and CareerSource CLM and its young adult services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development.

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


CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program. Aids/services available upon request in Spanish and to those 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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