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Congressman Higgins Announces $644,051 for Jamestown Youthbuild

Jun 12, 2009
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced that Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC) has been awarded a $644,051 federal grant for Jamestown Youthbuild.

“This program will give youth the opportunity to build their skills and build their education while they build a better community,” said Congressman Higgins.  “Youthbuild has a proven track record of success in providing young people with new opportunities and I expect to see terrific outcomes under the leadership of CHRIC and their partners.”

“Through the collaborative efforts of CHRIC and a variety of other community partners, the Youthbuild program has been very successful in the City of Jamestown and I am pleased to see this type of continuing support from the Federal Government,” said Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi.  “I would like to thank Congressman Higgins for his ongoing efforts on our behalf to secure the funding needed to continue, and to grow, this worthwhile program.  This is yet another example of partnerships between the public, private, and civic sectors within our community making positive things happen.”

CHRIC Executive Director John Murphy said, “I am so very pleased to get another Youthbuild grant for Jamestown!  While CHRIC writes for many grants on an almost continual basis, and get turned down for many of them, this particular grant program is so special to me after having operated two previous Youthbuild programs.  The ability to work with at-risk youth in our community who need  a program like this to get back on track, secure an educational credential, learn housing rehabilitation and carpentry skills, and be exposed to all sorts of cultural and experiential learning that it really changes their lives in a positive way.”

Jamestown Youthbuild will provide job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 18 to 24 while rehabilitating vacant houses in their own neighborhoods. Selected young people will split their time between the construction site and the classroom, where they will earn their GED or high school diploma, learn to be community leaders, and prepare for college and other post-secondary training opportunities. Jamestown Youthbuild through its partnerships will include significant support systems, such as a mentoring, follow-up education, employment, and personal counseling services, and participation in local community service and civic engagement.

Students in the Jamestown Youthbuild program who receive their GED on the first try will be rewarded with a $250 bonus, with half paid out immediately to the student, and half deposited in their program completion accounts.  In addition, students interested in following a construction career can be placed in paid work experience for three weeks with contractors to help them transition to construction related employment.

“I believe the partnerships we had in place under our previous Jamestown Youthbuild program deserve much of the credit for bringing this second Youthbuild grant to Jamestown,” Murphy added.  “My sincere appreciation goes out to Mayor Teresi who with the Department of Development has been so supportive of our Youthbuild applications, to Dr. MacNamara at ChautauquaWorks, to the Jamestown School’s Technology Academy and the staff there, the County Probation Department, and to M&T Bank for their individual and collective support.”