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Wallace Partners with Housing Authority on YouthBuild Grant


Eufaula, Ala. – The Eufaula Housing Authority (EHA) is one of 77 organizations throughout the country to receive an award through the Department of Labor to fund a new YouthBuild Program. The $1.1 million dollar grant will enable the EHA to serve approximately 20 high school dropouts and adjudicated youth ages 16-24 per year over the next three years.

EHA is collaborating with Wallace Community College-Sparks Campus (WCC) to offer the program, which is designed to address barriers faced by at-risk youth and low-income families and to equip participants with the skills necessary to be productive citizens and successful contributors to the workforce.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to administer this grant in the Eufaula community. We truly feel that we are changing lives, not just the individual but for generations to come,” said Tom Wachs, Houston Authority Executive Director. “We love these young people and will stand by them and provide the support and mentorship they need to reach their dreams.”

Students participate in Adult Education classes (including GED classes and graduation), soft skills training through the Ready to Work Program, leadership development, team building and vocational skills training. Skills training targets areas such as Welding Technology and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, both fields with strong opportunities for employment and competitive wages. Students will have access to the WCC career resource coordinator and EHA career coach services to assist with career exploration.

The first cohort of seven students began training in February. Students take adult education and skills classes at WCC. Ready to Work, which is facilitated by WCC, is held at the Eufaula Career Center.

“YouthBuild offers light into their darkness and confusion, and extends a hand up through the life career coaching to assist them in discovering their unique design plan and purpose for their lives,” said Melanie Little, LTC Life/Career Coaching, Eufaula Housing Authority.

The program lasts about a year with one-year follow-up services. When students complete the GED and Ready to Work programs, they begin skills training and apprenticeships. Students participate in leadership development and community service activities on Fridays.

The next cohort begins in July. Applications will be accepted now through May 18 for the May 21 Mental Toughness Orientation class. For more information, visit www.eufaulahousing.com or call (334-687-2451) and ask for YouthBuild Department.

Numerous local agencies and businesses are providing educational and job training, according to Donna Green, program director, Eufaula Housing Authority. Partners include Wallace Community College, Leadership Barbour, Eufaula City Schools, Eufaula Career Center, SpectraCare, Barbour County Health Department, LTC Life Coaching and several local businesses.

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