You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

$1M grant to build homes, train youth

Participants will earn certification in construction trade.

A local nonprofit has received a more than $1 million federal grant to certify local young people in the construction trade, beginning later this year.

Opportunities for Individual Change of Clark County, known as OIC, received the nearly $1.08 million grant through the U.S. Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program, which provides classroom and occupational instruction to at-risk individuals ages 16 to 24, the department announced last week.

OIC will use the grant to provide on-the-job training to 60 residents through the construction of two homes in Springfield over a 40 month period, OIC Executive Director Mike Calabrese said. Participants will leave the program with a certification in the construction trade

“They’re going to walk away with a viable job skill that, no matter what happens to them throughout the rest of their life, they’ll always be able to fall back on this training that they’re going to receive,” he said. “And that, of course, is paramount for them to make a sustainable living wage for the rest of their life.”

OIC was one of only five Ohio programs to receive an award. Nearly $72 million was awarded to 68 programs in 33 states and the District of Columbia, according to labor department.

Participants will receive a monetary stipend, paid for by the grant.

The program will also incorporate soft skills such as job seeking, special tutoring and GED instruction. “All the things that are required for anybody to seek and maintain employment,” Calabrese said.

Planning will likely begin later this month, but Calabrese said OIC still is waiting for details from the Department of Labor. He said the projects likely will begin later this year.

OIC has two lots picked out to build on, but if they don’t meet the labor department’s requirements, the agency will work with the city of Springfield to identify other lots.

He expects the homes to be put up for sale once completed, but that has yet to be decided.

Funding and instructional partners include Job & Family Services of Clark County, Springfield City Schools, The Turner Foundation, Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center, C & N Contractors, Kapp Construction, Pro Plumbing and the OSU Extension-Clark County.

The construction companies will provide instructional training and some in-kind services, Calabrese said.

Recruitment will be from OIC’s various other programs like the Summer Youth Program that will serve 120 young people this year, as well as the courts, Springfield City School District and other programs.

YouthBuild is a nonresidential, community-based alternative education program that leads to a high school diploma, general education development or other state-recognized equivalency diploma, while providing participants with industry-recognized certifications in construction or other occupations, according to the labor department

OIC provides counseling, youth programming and alternative high school education, vocational training, referral services, job placement assistance and emergency utility services to assist low-income Clark County residents in becoming self-sufficient.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Wet morning commute, winter weather returns
Wet morning commute, winter weather returns

A stray shower or two and some drizzle are expected early this morning as moisture from the backside of our storm system still keeps clouds and moisture around. Some drizzle or patchy fog early  Rain showers Wednesday  Scattered light snow and cold the rest of week TODAY: Some dry air works in for the day. Clouds will break into the evening...
Woman accused of slashing Trump sign in Florida for 'ruining her chill'
Woman accused of slashing Trump sign in Florida for 'ruining her chill'

A woman from California was arrested Friday in the Florida Keys when business owners accused her of slashing a vinyl Donald Trump sign with a knife and threatening them.
Trump proclaims his Inauguration Day a National Day of Patriotic Devotion
Trump proclaims his Inauguration Day a National Day of Patriotic Devotion

President Donald Trump is naming Jan. 20, 2017 – his Inauguration Day – a National Day of Patriotic Devotion.
'Saturday Night Live' writer suspended for Barron Trump tweet
'Saturday Night Live' writer suspended for Barron Trump tweet

Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on one thing about criticizing the President Donald Trump's family: Leave the kids out of it. That especially goes for Barron Trump, who is 10 years old.  Last week, a writer from “Saturday Night Live” joked that Barron would kill his family. Now, NBC has announced consequences for Katie...
Felon admits to running illegal drug ring from prison
Felon admits to running illegal drug ring from prison

Authorities said a Georgia man could face up to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to running a multistate drug trafficking operation from prison, using cellphones and drones.  Daniel Roger Alo, 46, pleaded guilty Monday to drug and weapons charges, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Edward Tarver said. Alo was serving...
More Stories