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Phoenix Rising seeks Participants for Employment

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on September 5, 2018

Phoenix Rising is an alternative education and construction trade program that seeks to revitalize economically-challenged areas in Pasco and Hernando Counties while making a positive difference in the lives of young adults.

Any young adult age 18-24, out-of-school, willing to work, who would like to learn new construction skills can apply to be part of this dynamic program offering weekly pay, free training, job skill credentials, and job placement assistance.  If the candidate is out-of-school and does not have their high school diploma, we may enroll them in the online Penn Foster high school diploma program as well.

Through Phoenix Rising, income-eligible participants receive hands-on and classroom training designed to develop workforce skills that lead to employment. A key feature of the program involves construction of Habitat for Humanity homes for deserving families in Pasco and Hernando Counties. Additionally, participants may earn their high school diploma as well as industry-recognized certifications while receiving weekly participation payments.

The program length is about 12 weeks long and the Phoenix Rising program 12 young adults to start in late September.  Upon graduation, they would have completed construction training to include most aspects of building a home from the ground up, and earn other credentials to help leverage for construction related employment, or other meaningful employment. Participants must be willing to travel to and from the Dade City construction site where they will help to build a Habitat for Humanity home.

Major funding for the project comes from CareerSource Pasco-Hernando through Federal and State funding with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). In addition to funding, CareerSource Pasco-Hernando and its youth services provider, Eckerd Connects Workforce Development, will select program participants, assign career coaches to help oversee the program, and provide classroom employability training.

Phoenix Rising was originally spearheaded by former Chief Sam Williams and the Ocala Police Department; construction began on the first home in 2011. The program has assisted in the building of 13 Habitat homes in Marion and Citrus counties, with 157 young adults contributing to its success.

This success has led to expansion to the Pasco and Hernando Counties to launch the first group in October 2018.

Since the program started in 2011, 147 of the 157 Phoenix Rising participants have completed the program. Collectively, they have earned over 300 industry recognized credentials, more than 60 high school diplomas or GEDs and, to date, 138 have entered employment or enrolled in postsecondary programs.

The Phoenix Rising program model has become a national model of what communities can build when public/private partners work together. It has earned recognition from the Florida League of Cities and the National League of Cities, Harvard’s School of Business and Habitat for Humanity International’s highest honor, the Clarence E. Jordan Award for creativity and innovation in building homes and communities.

For information and to apply for the Phoenix Rising program, contact Brian Conard at 352-789-1792 or [email protected]