Sanford, NC – For some youth, failure to complete high school signals an end to their educational journey. For those entering YouthBuild, their journey is just igniting.
In February, Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) was awarded a $1.1 million grant from the Department of Labor to educate, empower, and employ individuals ages 16-24 over the next three years. Those eligible for the program must reside in Sanford or Siler City, have separated from high school prior to graduation, and have an interest in earning their GED while pursuing a career in a high-demand field.
YouthBuild participants work concurrently to complete their GED and earn an industry-recognized credential in construction, HVAC, or nursing. While enrolled in the program, participants benefit from a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, seeing the immediate results of hard work by participating in the construction of low-income housing within their own community.
Along with GED and career pathway instruction, participants are eligible for numerous support services including case management, counseling, leadership training, funding for transportation and child care, stipends, and one year of followup support after being connected to either a college degree program or immediate gainful employment.
“CCCC is dedicated to student access and removing barriers to enrollment and progression,” says Dr. Brian Merritt, CCCC Vice President, Learning & Workforce Development. “YouthBuild will provide at-risk youth with the intentional support they need to access and persist with high school equivalency diploma while also building the skills and college credits to graduate from in-demand career paths in construction, nursing, and HVAC.”
After graduating from YouthBuild, students will be eligible for careers with an average annual salary over $40,000. In addition to well-paying jobs, individuals will be equipped with leadership and life skills to effectively face future barriers.
Outcomes for the nearly 8,000 YouthBuild graduates across the U.S. speak to the program’s success. Nearly three quarters of program enrollees obtained their high school equivalency credentials, high school diplomas, and/or industry-recognized credentials. Of those placed, 73% retained their placement for at least six months. While approximately 30% of participants have been court-involved, the recidivism rate within one year of enrollment averages 11%, compared to a national average of 44%. These statistics provide a hopeful outlook, not only for program participants, but also for local economic development.
Lindsay Tipton, Director of the YouthBuild program at CCCC, looks forward to seeing similar results locally. “We know there are students out there who, when presented with the right opportunities coupled with the proper supports, have skills, talents, and gifts that would be of great benefit to our community. YouthBuild surely serves the student, but in the long run, the community as a whole thrives when our youth and young adults are contributing in such a meaningful way.”
The YouthBuild program opens doors for everyone involved. If you know an individual who may benefit from the opportunities of YouthBuild, please contact Lindsay Tipton at 919-777-7704 or visit www.cccc.edu/youthbuild.
To learn more about Central Carolina Community College and its programs, visit www.cccc.edu