YOUTH BUILD ILLINOIS PROGRAMS

Program Name:

Tomorrows Builders YouthBuild

Service Area:

East St. Louis, IL

Program Description

Tomorrows Builders YouthBuild serves some of the most at-risk youth in the region, coming from the communities of Alorton, Centreville, East St. Louis, and Washington Park. Ninety eight (98) percent of the targeted area for this program comprises East St. Louis District #189.

Upon enrollment, youth immediately start a one-year carpenter pre-apprenticeship program consisting of 26 weeks classroom, 26 weeks on-site, and six months of job placement assistance and retention. Forty-five participants are accepted at one time, who are then divided into three groups of 15. The youth spend equal time in the classroom and on the job site, alternating a week in class with a week at work. Within the classroom setting, youth are divided into learning groups consistent with skill attainment level. Some youth begin by being placed in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and later move up to classes preparing for GED testing. More advanced youth start out in GED preparation classes. A counselor is assigned to each trainee to monitor progress in the program.

Eligibility Criteria

Low-income youth aged 16 to 24 years from St. Clair or Madison Counties and in need of a high school diploma are eligible for this program. All participants must complete a four-week mental toughness program screening process. Students engaged in drug use upon entering the program are allowed to continue in the program provided they attend a six week substance abuse program and pass a drug test at the end of those six weeks. Failing a drug test later in the year when randomly tested will result in being dropped from the program. Youth must demonstrate construction aptitude and agree to become work-ready in personal appearance, grooming and clothing style according to the trainee Handbook and Contract before being accepted into the program.

Program Components

Education - Classroom work

Low-income youth aged 16 to 24 years from St. Clair or Madison Counties and in need of a high school diploma are eligible for this program. All participants must complete a four-week mental toughness program screening process. Students engaged in drug use upon entering the program are allowed to continue in the program provided they attend a six week substance abuse program and pass a drug test at the end of those six weeks. Failing a drug test later in the year when randomly tested will result in being dropped from the program. Youth must demonstrate construction aptitude and agree to become work-ready in personal appearance, grooming and clothing style according to the trainee Handbook and Contract before being accepted into the program.

Vocational - On-Site Work

On-site Work consists of rehabilitation of at least one home and the construction of one new home. Trades learned during rehabilitation include carpentry, electrical, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, dry walling, replacing doors and windows, framing, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) work. New construction skills are inclusive of the skills previously enumerated with the addition of getting blueprints approved, requesting permits, bidding scheduling, ordering materials, digging for foundations, concrete framework and masonry, getting new homeowners approved, and sale of structures.

2008 Program Funding Sources & Partnerships

(All non-state funding amounts were self reported)

Federal: DOL, HUD, ISBE, AmeriCorps, NSI, YouthBuild USA $1,000,000
State: IDHS $73,542
Other (Private/Public): None
In-Kind (Volunteers/Partnerships): Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, East St. Louis Township Office, St. Clair County Probation and Parole, Regional Housing and Community Development Alliance, Community Development Consultants.

2008 Cost Per Youth

Total Cost Per Youth (All Sources) $15,439
Total Cost Per Youth (IDHS Funds Only) $1,987

2008 Program Statistics

Enrolled - YouthBuild Program 37
Demographic Information - Enrolled Participants
Gender
Males 16
Females 21
Race/Ethnicity
African American 97%
Hispanic 0%
White 3%
Other
Average Age 19
Homeless Youth 30 or 81%
Adjudicated Youth 6 or 17%

2008 Outcomes

Youth Successfully Completing YouthBuild Program 29
Employment At program completion
# becoming gainfully employed 21
Average hourly wage $9.09
# employed at 6 months yet to be determined
Education At Program Completion
Completed youth receiving diploma/GED 17
# enrolled in full-time post-secondary education 11
# in post-secondary education at 6 months yet to be determined
Housing Units
Housing units built 12
Housing units remodeled 3
Adjudicated Youth
Recidivism Rate 3%