YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Jackson YouthBuild

  • A youth empowerment and community rebuilding program serves youth ages 16-24, in one of three groups: 1. adjudicated youth, 2. youth aging out of foster care, and 3. out of school youth. 
  • Program participants will have the opportunity to gain construction skills,
  • Earn a GED,
  • Receive on the job training and valuable leadership and team building skills while they construct and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for very low, low income and homeless persons or families. 
  • West Jackson CDC has served 350 youth since the program began in 1997. 
  • Sixty five percent of participants have received GEDs, 75% were placed in jobs or post secondary education, and 80% of participants increased at 2 grade levels in literacy and numeracy.
  • Helped to rehabilitate and construct approximately 100 units of housing in several West Jackson neighborhoods, including Washington Addition, Chambers Subdivision, Olin Park, south Prentiss Street, and Central Street. 
  • YouthBuild is currently working in the Bon Air Subdivision, where 12 new single family homes have been constructed.  The construction of 3 new homes planned over the next 12 months.    

Services/Activities:
GED Training and Tutoring
Pre-Apprenticeship Credential
Employability Skills Training
Leadership Training
Job Placement
Graduate Support

Target Groups:
Youth ages 16-24, living in Hinds County
Benefits:
Increased knowledge of construction field
Career training
Employability skills
GED preparation & testing

Funded By:
U. S. Department of Labor
City of Jackson Homebuyer Assistance Construction Funds
Leveraged with over $500,000 in in-kind and supportive services

Youth Mentoring Program
This program provides Mentoring services to YouthBuild participants in concert with post placement follow up activities to incorporate YouthBuild counselors and support staff of YouthBuild.  It is critical that the mentoring services are maintained so that mentees continue to be focused and motivated as they have completed their YouthBuild Cycle, but will benefit tremendously from their mentor relationship and supportive services provided by the Mentoring Coordinator and Program Assistant.   The program insures that each mentee is exposed to the array of partners that will aid them in their post graduate pursuits including education and job placement services.  These activities are facilitated through the expansive network of partners established in support of the YouthBuild Program.  Partners include City of Jackson, Hinds Community College, Tougaloo College, Alcorn State University, Jackson State University, Minority Contractors Association, Wallace Edison Construction on Company, Metro Jackson Area Southcentral Workforce Area, Mississippi Housing Partnership, West Jackson Student Housing, LLC, Christian Electric Company, Young Plumbing and Heating Company, Jackson Ministerial Alliance, Stew Pot Community Shelter, Metro Drug Counseling , Low Income Housing Support Corporation, and many others. 
The Parenting Center
Hinds County Families First Parent Resource Center is comprehensive in scope, providing effective programming to participants in several critical areas, including teen pregnancy prevention, children’s after school services, effective parenting skills, abuse and neglect prevention, and GED and employability skills training. The Center houses a Parent Resource Library and has programs housed at 1060 Lynch Street, Jackson, MS. 
Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Hinds County
The Tobacco Prevention program provides information and intervention regarding the danger and effects of tobacco use to Hinds County residents. This program has been refunded and expanded to include Hinds County. More than 7,350 school aged children combined with young adults have been served. It promotes a healthy and safe (smoke-free) environment.
Prisoner Re-Entry Program
The program will operates in concert with the Hinds County Penal System under the auspices of the Hinds County Sherriff’s Department and the Mississippi Department of Corrections.  West Jackson CDC has assembled a network of supportive partners who will make available critical services to facilitate a smooth transition for returning offenders.  West Jackson CDC provides an array of services under its own administrative umbrella including multifamily housing programs for low income families and the homeless, parental training and education programs, DOL funded Youthbuild education and employment program, housing counseling and financial literacy training.   The project incorporates evidenced based methodology and will serve ex-offenders in the pre and post release settings.
West Jackson CDC will leverage at least 25% of the project with supportive services.
The RExO Job Training and Employment Initiative will be based on the Louisiana Green Corps Model.  The training componentconsists of 10 cycles of eight weeks intensive training session. Each session will be designed to accommodate 40 participants.  The program incorporates pre-release and post release comprehensive mentoring.  Mentoring is offered on a one to one and group mentoring to each participant to provide at least 4 hours of mentoring monthly.  The program ensures that follow up services will be provided up to 4 months after the participant exits the program.
Drug- Free Communities Support Program 
The Drug Free Communities Support Program is a federally funded project designed as an alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs prevention/invention program. Through collaborations with local community and faith based agencies, the Drug Free program offers a variety of projects and activities to defray youths in the west Jackson area from participating in destructive behavior.
Abstinence Education
Abstinence program provides abstinence education to more than 200 elementary, middle, and high school students and out-of-school youths. This education encourages them to choose abstinence from involvement in premarital sex activities as a continuing way of life. It also teaches them the limitations and other harmful effects that out-of-wedlock children and their parents encounter, as well as the economic and social costs. To date, approximately 3,000 students have been served.
Public Safety
The West Jackson Public Safety program, funded by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is designed to provide youths between the ages of 15-17, opportunities to obtain their GED, develop employability skills, and receive life skills training. Students participate in a wide range of activities, including: field trips, college orientation, professional and personal development, abstinence education, and drug and tobacco prevention education.