Can Teaching Teens to Rehab Vacant Cleveland Homes Help Close Construction Trades Skills Gap?
Olivera Perkins, The Plain Dealer
A tiny gray and cream-colored house has the telltale signs of a rehab in progress: A band saw can be found outside, boxes of vinyl siding await installation, and workers carry paint cans, boards, and other renovation materials.
Inside the home, teenagers are waiting on their supervisor to return with equipment needed to install a kitchen range hood and duct work.
Construction on the Cleveland home is part of Building Great Futures, an initiative of Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, and Cuyahoga County. The program aims to address several workforce challenges, including a shortage of skilled trades workers, especially African Americans, and preparing young people from high-poverty areas for good-paying, blue-collar careers.