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At-Risk Bridgeport Youth To Build Housing Thanks To $1M Grant To WorkPlace

Joe Carbone, president and CEO of the WorkPlace
Joe Carbone, president and CEO of the WorkPlace Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness, File

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Bridgeport students will construct at least two units of low-income housing, while earning their high school diplomas or GEDs and learning core construction skills.

This construction project was made possible by a $1.098 million federal YouthBuild grant. It was given to the WorkPlace in Bridgeport to enroll and train 65 at-risk youth from Bridgeport.

Established in 2006, the YouthBuild program provides funding for local nonprofit organizations providing education and training for at-risk youth ages 16 to 24.

Thanks to more than $4.25 million in U.S. Department of Labor YouthBuild grants recently made available, other nonprofits across Connecticut are now able to implement construction projects to help at-risk young people reach educational and career milestones.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (both D-Conn.) and U.S. Reps. John Larson, Joe Courtney Rosa DeLauro, Jim Himes and Elizabeth Esty (all D-Conn.) applauded the new funding.

"These grants are all about increasing opportunity in Connecticut. YouthBuild puts at-risk young people to work and helps them receive the education they need to find a career and build a better life. From the Promise Zone in Hartford’s North End to neighborhoods in Bridgeport and New Haven, these grants will help remake communities and inspire young people,” the delegation said.

Participants in the YouthBuild program learn construction skills while building or rehabilitating housing for low-income individuals, and attend classes to help them earn their high school diploma or equivalent degrees, according to a release from YouthBuild.

For the first time in the program’s history, applications from communities designated as Promise Zones, such as North Hartford, were given priority consideration by the Department of Labor.

In addition to the WorkPlace in Bridgeport, the following Connecticut organizations received federal YouthBuild grants:

  • Capital Workforce Partners of New Britain received $1.099 million to enroll and train 64 young adults in its New Britain YouthBuild program.
  • Community Renewal Team, Inc. in Hartford received $1.099 million to provide 62 at-risk youth an opportunity to improve their education, receive occupational training, and develop leadership skills.
  • EMERGE Connecticut Inc. of New Haven received $960,976 to serve 76 young adults ages 16 to 24 from New Haven.

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