City of Cincinnati officials marked National Community Development Week in April by highlighting CAA's Blueprint for Success program. Among those who donned hard hats and rolled up their sleeves to expereince the Blueprint work skills lab were Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls and City Manager Milton Dohoney.
Blueprint gives at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 training for jobs in the construction trades. Over 250 people have gone through the program during the past nine years. The current class is now working on 24 real-world home rehab projects in partnership with the Greater Cincinnati Homebuilder's Association. GCHA President Mike Hoffmaster says the association also helps students with interviewing, resume-writing and other job skills. "(We) see the Blueprint for Success program as one in which our industry can hire young men and young women who are going to provide the necessary employees that we're going to need as our industry and the economy continues to improve."
Other notable construction projects Blueprint students have worked on include the Banks, CitiRama, Habitat For Humanity, Horseshoe Casino and the Loth Street redevelopment.
"We're not out having to recruit," says Gwen L. Robinson, "the word is out there about the program and 98 percent of those young people - men and women by the way - that leave the program are hired in the construction trade."
The Blueprint for Success Program is putting young people to work, cleaning up Cincinnati's blighted neighborhoods and helping to provide affordable, quality housing.
To learn more about the program, contact Harrison Nelson at ext. 1021.