YouthBuild graduation Thursday at Memorial Hall

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – YouthBuild Rockford will host its 24th graduation ceremony Thursday, Sept. 19, at Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main Street.

The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. It will feature a keynote address by Illinois Rep. Maurice West (D-67) and and brief speeches from current and previous graduates. A reception with refreshments will follow.

YouthBuild Rockford will graduate 23 students, ages 16-24. By completing the program, each graduate has earned a nationally recognized construction credential, from the National Center for Construction, Education, and Research (NCCER), while two students also completed welding certification through the American Welding Society.

Some graduates will also be recognized for the completion of their high school diploma.

This year’s class successfully rehabbed a single-family home on the southwest side of Rockford and, through collaboration with Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity, built two single-family homes.

Two students will receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust that can be used towards post-secondary and career-education costs.

Fourteen students have already secured employment and internships.

About YouthBuild Rockford
YouthBuild Rockford is a comprehensive, two-year workforce development program for unemployed students who are not currently in school. Participants learn vocational skills in construction and trainees build or rehab affordable housing for low-income families. A major component is basic skills and preparation for the high school diploma through a virtual on-line high school program. The Rockford chapter is one of 260 in the United States. 

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