Cincinnati is marking Community Development Week by highlighting the Community Action Agency's "Blueprint for Success" project. The program gives at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 training for jobs in the building trades. CAA President Gwen Robinson-Benning says around 250 people have gone through the program during the past nine years.
"They come on their own volition," she says. "We're not out having to recruit. The word is out there about the program. And 98 percent of those young people - men and women by the way - that leave the program are hired in the construction trade."
Class members are currently working on 24 real-world home rehab projects.
The program is partnering with the Greater Cincinnati Homebuilder's Association. Mike Hoffmaster says the association also helps students with interviewing, resume-writing and other job skills.
"(We) see the Blueprint for Success program as one in which our industry can hire young men and young women who are going to provide the necessary employees that we're going to need as our industry and the economy continues to improve."
The CAA says graduates have worked on some notable construction projects including the Banks and the Horseshoe Casino.