Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc., YouthBuild Rockford


Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc., YouthBuild Rockford

Service Area:

Winnebago County

Program Description

Youth split their time between the construction site and the classroom, where they earn their GED or high school diploma, depending on their entry level. Leadership skills are incorporated into the classroom curriculum, enabling the youth to grow into community leaders and prepare for college and other postsecondary training opportunities. On the job site, the youth learn constructions skills while constructing or rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in their own neighborhoods.

The program includes significant support systems, such as a mentoring, follow-up education, employment, personal counseling services, and participation in community service and civic engagement. Participants are also members of YouthBuild Rockford's AmeriCorps program.

YouthBuild Rockford has agreements with six trade unions that provide supplemental instruction at union apprenticeship facilities or on-site at YouthBuild sites and participants earn an industry-recognized credential. In addition to construction training, YouthBuild Rockford offers a second track in computer technology training that also leads to an industry-recognized credential.

Eligibility Criteria

Disadvantaged youth 16 to 24 years of age in need of a high school diploma, or who have significant educational deficits are eligible for the YouthBuild Rockford program.

Program Components

Education - Classroom work

Classroom Work consists of ABE skills readiness and GED preparation depending on the level of the youth. In addition, leadership development and conflict and anger management are part of the curriculum. Job-related skills include job development; construction skills course work based on the NCCER nationally recognized curriculum, and 10 hours of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training.

Vocational - On-Site Work

Each team completes at least one unit of low-income housing. During the construction of this new home (using green building techniques), students learn rough frame carpentry, insulation, drywall, siding, and trim carpentry. Other construction skills gained include blueprint reading, scheduling of project timeframes, and ordering materials. Through job shadowing and internships with local contractors, students also get experience in concrete framework and masonry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, and HVAC. Computer students help rebuild and refurbish computers for local schools, while earning an industry credential.

2008 Program Funding Sources & Partnerships

(All non-state funding amounts were self reported)

  • Federal
    • DOL $66,561
      WIA $63,304
      Americorps $174,942
      HUD $724,643
  • State
    • IDHS $73,542
  • Local
    • Local $121,773
  • In-Kind (Volunteers/ Partnerships):
    • City of Rockford, Rockford Housing Authority, Winnebago County Housing
      Authority, Winnebago County Criminal Justice Programs, Rock
      Valley College, Rockford Public Schools, CCS Construction,
      State of Illinois, Rockford Area Affordable Housing Coalition.

2008 Program Statistics

Enrolled - YouthBuild Program 64

Demographic Information - Enrolled Participants

Males 36
Females 28
AA 42
Hispanic 3
Asian American 0
White 19
Average Age 20
Homeless Youth 2
Adjudicated Youth 46
Number of Youth with GED/Diploma 0

2008 Outcomes

Youth Successfully Completing YouthBuild Program 47 or 73 %
Youth terminating program 17 or 27 %
Youth Registered to Vote 100%
Homeless Youth Domiciled 100%
Employment At Program Completion
# becoming gainfully employed 29 or 62 %
Average hourly wage $9.50
# employed at 6 months 29 or 100 %
Education At Program Completion
Completed youth receiving diploma/GED 18 or 38.3 %
# enrolled in full-time post-secondary education 3 or 16 %
# in post-secondary education in 6 months 2 or 4 %
Housing Units
Housing units built 3
Housing units remodeled 0
Adjudicated Youth Recidivism Rate 4 or 8 %