ASPIRA Inc. and St. Augustine College announce
education and career training partnership.
Chicago - On February 20th, at Antonia Pantoja High School, 3119 N. Pulaski, in Chicago, ASPIRA Inc. of Illinois and St. Augustine College's Institute for Workforce Education (IWE) announced a strategic partnership aimed at increasing the number of Latinos in higher education and the construction industry. On March 4th 2013, the YouthBuild Humboldt Park Program will be launched to prepare community youth to successfully complete their GED/High School diploma and transition to higher education and/or start a career in the construction industry. "The staff and students at ASPIRA-Antonia Pantoja High School are extremely excited about our partnership with St. Augustine College on the YouthBuild Project. This project will provide our students with the skills, discipline, and certifications necessary to move to the next phases in their lives" stated Dr. Martha Zurita, Principal, Antonia Pantoja High School.
Participants must be 16 to 24 years of age, test at the ninth level or above 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. This program is made possible through a generous grant of 1.1 million dollars by the U.S. Department of Labor. 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 Education and Research (NCCER).
"At a time of high unemployment, this program will pave the way to a better future for our youth and we are proud to be part of this initiative," declared Andrew C. Sund, President, St. Augustine College. "We look forward to working together with local youth and their parents to create opportunities and take advantage of resources that grow and strengthen the community as a whole," added Dr. Norman Ruano, Vice-President for Workforce Development, St. Augustine College.
Notable leaders attending this announcement included: Dr. Maribeth Welch, Chief Strategic Officer, Aspira of Illinois, Inc; Hugo Campuzano, Principal of Mirtha Ramirez Computer Science High School; Ariel Reboyras, Chicago Alderman, (Dist. 30).