The Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of Racine County has received a $687,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for the 2009 YouthBuild Racine GreenTech Program. This amount is an initial increment for two years of grant operations; more may be awarded pending the availability of additional funding. OIC requested $1.1 million.
YouthBuild is a program that helps low-income, unemployed youth who have dropped out of school to complete their high school education, train for high-wage home construction job skills and gain work experience. And while rebuilding their lives, these young people will help rebuild their community too, by building high quality, energy-efficient homes.
The Racine program will recruit and train 32 young adults ages 18 to 24, and employ up to 8 professional educators and building instructors. “I am always excited when we have opportunities like this to make a positive difference in the lives of the young people in Racine,” said Claudius Adebayo, OIC executive director.
“Everybody wins because young people gain a good education, learn to be disciplined and become economically self-sufficient. The community gains responsible, productive new citizens who pay taxes instead of draining it. Neighborhood and property values improve. Low-income people own beautiful homes and build up equity really fast. Stable neighborhoods, stable families and higher tax base for the city. That is what OIC does best,” he said.
YouthBuild Racine's GreenTech Project is supported by the S.C. Johnson Fund, Racine Community Foundation, Gateway Technical College, Wisconsin Fresh Start and a real estate donation from Seater Construction Company. In 2007, the Racine program was selected by the YouthBuild USA National Directors’ Association for best performance in GED and High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) graduation rate.
For more information about the YouthBuild Racine GreenTech Project, contact OIC of Racine County (262) 636-3818 or email Adebayo.