FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For More Information Contact:

Ashley Short, Executive Assistant

217-378-7100 Ext. 5028

ashleys@hacc.net

HOUSING AUTHORITY OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY’S YOUTHBUILD GRADUATION CEREMONY

 

Champaign, IL. January 11, 2021. The Housing Authority of Champaign County’s (HACC) YouthBuild Program held its first commencement ceremony on January 9, 2021. HACC YouthBuild is a community-based, pre-apprenticeship program designed to offer a unique second chance to at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, homeless youth, and other disconnected youth populations. YouthBuild provides basic education, occupational training, and leadership development while addressing several core issues important to low-income communities: affordable housing, education, and employment.

The Housing Authority of Champaign County celebrated nineteen young adults who each graduated with a high school diploma, OSHA, Flaggers, and NCCER certifications. CEO David A. Northern, Sr. expressed the following remarks: Young people come to YouthBuild because they haven’t found success elsewhere and they believe that YouthBuild can help them to finish their education and find a future career or academic path.” In addition to basic education, YouthBuild members complete over 570 hours of community service and more than 3,200 hours of hands-on work experience rehabilitating affordable housing. The skills acquired by young people during their time in the program can be applied to secondary education or career options in the future ultimately leading to self-sufficiency.

To remain in compliance with social distancing requirements, the graduation ceremony was streamed via Facebook live and the link is currently available on the HACC YouthBuild’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HACCYouthBuild/videos/3661690453907774/. The YouthBuild program is currently recruiting for its next cohort set to begin on February 1, 2021. Board Chairman, Dr. Grant G. Henry, spoke during the ceremony highlighting the program’s early successes stating: “YouthBuild members have succeeded based on the wide array of needs the program is able to meet such as supportive services, legal aid, case management, and general guidance from program staff as they attend classes, learn job skills, and become active and engaged in the expansion of affordable housing.”

YouthBuild is funded through a grant from the United States Department of Labor. For more information, please contact the Housing Authority of Champaign County at (217) 378-7100.

About the Housing Authority of Champaign County: The Housing Authority of Champaign County (HACC) is a municipal corporation organized according to the Illinois Housing Authority Act. The jurisdiction of HACC includes all incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county of Champaign, Illinois. In 2010, HACC became one of only 39 public housing authorities in the country to be designated as a Moving to Work (MTW) Agency. Today, HACC has had extensive development and management experience and developed over $100 million of new affordable housing through mixed financing methods. Besides, HACC has administered over 1,200 tenant-based vouchers, a homeownership program, and a rental assistance program for homeless veterans. HACC also administers a multitude of resident support and service programs under various HUD and non-HUD grants.

For emergency COVID-19 related updates, please visit us at https://hacc.net/emergency-updates-covid-19/. For social media updates, please visit us on Facebook at Housing Authority of Champaign County, Housing Authority of Champaign County Enrichment Foundation, and Housing Authority of Champaign County YouthBuild. For more information visit www.hacc.net and for questions/concerns, please contact concerns@hacc.net or 217-378-7100 ext. 5001.