YouthBuild Director's Corner - June 2021

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed unless it is faced” James Baldwin

Peninsula Regional Education Program (PREP). The staff members from PREP did a tremendous job in preparing Naajee for the GED examination. Ms. Ardelia Davis, GED instructor used GED ready tests which allowed Naajee to negotiate through computer-based GED exams which follows the North American high school equivalency test. GED includes four independent subtests that cover the subject areas of Math, Language, Science, and Social Studies. The GED diploma will allow students to enter college and definitely lead to better employment opportunities. Naajee used the completion of his GED to apply for an Internship position with Centennial Contracting Enterprise (CCE). Naajee was able to also get his driver’s license through Greater Peninsula Workforce.

Greater Peninsula Workforce. This program is located in the New Horizon Regional Education Center and receives funding through the WorkForce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA). The funding provides On-the-Job training through WorkForce Experience (WEX), resume writing, Leadership Development, Work Readiness, and Employment Assistance. Newport News YouthBuild has partnered with this agency to provide wrap around services for the residents of Newport News.

Centennial Contracting Enterprise (CCE). Naajee along with Kyle Douglas. Centennial is a national leader in renovation, infrastructure improvements, new construction, sustainable initiatives and emergency services for facility owners. The company operates a nationwide network of more than 30 offices led by construction professionals who share a common goal: to keep promises, honor commitments and exceed client expectations. Senior leaders from CCE conducted a tour of the YouthBuild facility and came away impressed with the training provided by YouthBuild Construction staff. CCE leadership requested and interviewed several of our students and they were offered a 90-day internship for the summer.

image6.jpg Naajee Walton COHORT 2 GED Graduate

Habitat for Humanity. Students from COHORT 2 and 3 worked with Habitat for Humanity. The initiative of Newport News YouthBuild students working with Habitat is a as a way for students and the community to help each other. This is a workforce readiness program which gives students the opportunity to build alongside professional contractors for future Habitat homeowners, community partners and other volunteers. As the students tackle new responsibilities, they also make professional connections and discover life skills that they can apply off the build site. This is the second time YouthBuild has partnered with Habitat for Humanity. Participants from the program’s second and third cohorts spent Tuesday and Wednesday framing sheds, a skill that can translate into building homes. The YouthBuild program is offered at no cost to anyone 16-24. It gives participants exposure to four trades — carpentry; electrical; plumbing; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning — while they earn certifications, including one from the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) as well as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). During the 6-month training program students receive stipend every two week commensurate with productivity during the Education, Construction, and Leadership phase of the program.

YouthBuild training at Four Oaks Day Training Center. The training for students begins at 8:30 AM every morning with a completion time of 3:30 PM. Students are provided transportation (if needed) and lunch every day. One can see from the associated picture with Mr. Kenneth O’ Neil (Construction Manager) he does an outstanding job in preparing students for the WorkForce with testing through NCCER and trades training which is provided by Level 4 instructors such as Mr. O’Neil and Mike Hovan.

The picture to the right highlights the trades training and Habitat for Humanity preparation before students go on to works site(s). Trade’s training is done in the morning, while the afternoon is focused on Education training. The education training concentrates on GED preparation, resume writing, and interview preparation once students go one on one with employers.

image4.jpeg students from COHORT 2 and 3 worked with Habitat for Humanity.

Why Leadership Development at YouthBuild?

YouthBuild is about assisting young adults with the ability to develop sustainable careers, advance their education, and create a meaningful, productive, and healthy life. These are critical to the individual success of YouthBuild students. The program will help develop resources for the community, which leads to responsible, skilled leaders who can tackle the challenges that will eventually face us in society.

  • Leadership skills are sought by employers and colleges.
  • Leadership emphasis = higher professional outcomes
  • Young adults in leadership roles brings great visibility and support to themselves, families, and the community.
  • Leadership will assist to develop resources for the community to help tackle and negotiate through life’s events.
image5.jpeg Participants from the program’s second and third cohorts spent time framing sheds, a skill that can translate into building homes

Rotary Club donates to Four Oaks Day Training Center

Women experiencing homelessness are being given the gift of pride and renewal thanks to a generous contribution from the Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center. The club donated $1,000 to create a beauty salon at the Four Oaks Day Services Center. Located at 7401 Warwick Boulevard, Four Oaks helps people transition out of homelessness into employment, stable housing and independence.

Quincy White, the Executive Director of the Four Oaks Day Services Center, was recently presented the check by the Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center. He shared information on the Center’s services, as well as upcoming job fairs and workforce development initiatives. The current club President, Sharon Martin, was inspired by the transformational work that takes place at Four Oaks. After visiting the site during a recent Chamber of Commerce Coffee Connection, Ms. Martin also learned Four Oaks includes an on-site barber shop staffed by volunteers; however, there is not a beauty salon for female clients, she came up with a plan to build one.

Four Oaks is partnering with Newport News YouthBuild to complete the project. YouthBuild helps young people ages 16-24 gain work-based education that leads to industry-recognized credentials, employment placement or apprenticeships. YouthBuild participants will receive on-the-job training by renovating a room at Four Oaks and creating the salon. The Heart of Giving will provide equipment and supplies needed for the salon. The goal is to open the beauty salon in early September.

image7.jpeg Rotary Club of Warwick at City Center donated $1,000 to create a beauty salon at the Four Oaks Day Services Center.

If this sounds like the program for you schedule a Facility tour and see the tremendous work YouthBuild and Four Oaks Day Service Center is providing the community.

Que Tengas un gran dia - “Have a Great Day”

Realmente aprecio todo el apoyo brindado a nuestros estudiantes por parte del personal, los socios del programa y los funcionarios de Noticias de la Ciudad de Newport.

I truly appreciate all the support provided to our students from staff, program partners, and City of Newport News officials.

Blessings to all….

Daniel S. Carrera
Program Director
Newport News YouthBuild
(757) 975-5204 (office)
(540) 514-1207 (cell)