New program for Latino students

Aspira Inc. and St. Augustine College have partnered up to increase the number of Latinos in higher education and the construction industry. This new program, beginning March 4, will start with the YouthBuild Humboldt Park Program launched to prepare community youth to successfully complete their GED or High School Diploma, transition students to a higher education, and help them start a career in the construction industry.
“The staff and students at Aspira YouthBuild Project are extremely excited about our partnership with St. Augustine College on the YouthBuild Project. It will provide our students with the skills, discipline, and certification necessary to move to the next phases in their lives,” said Dr. Martha Zurita, principal of Antonia Pantoja High School.
To qualify for this program, students must be 16 to 24 years of age, test at least a 9th grade level in reading and math, and receive 800 hours of instruction in areas that include academic and occupational skills, on-the-job-training, community service and leadership development. Unlike any other training programs, participants will acquire hands on construction experience working on affordable housing projects and obtain marketable certifications from OSHA, EPA, and the National Center for Construction and Research (NCCER).
“At this time of high unemployment, this program will pave the way to a better future for our youth and we are proud to stand to be part of this initiative,” said Andrew C. Sund, president of St. Augustine College.
The first phas, called “mental toughness”, will start in the middle of March. It will help transition students to work in the real work environment.
Counselors will mentor students throughout their educational career, helping them from the day they walk through the door, to find a job, and begin their career. Overall there is a three year introductory plan for this program and the idea is to expand in career fields, such as health and computer training. n

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