The Cuyahoga Land Bank
and Career Development and Placement Strategies, Inc.
(CDPSI) have teamed up to create a pilot program to get formerly incarcerated fathers to work renovating houses. The pilot program, which began in November, puts participants through an intensive six-week program to teach them basic workmanship and professional skills. The participants then go into a six-month internship program with a supervisor in the field.
"The internships program is designed to assist men who are fathers trying to make a better way in their lives," explains Maurice Stevens, president of CDPSI. "They have displayed some interest in carpentry but have some barriers in transitioning to employments due to incarceration."
During the course of their internship the participants will earn $9 an hour and receive comprehensive training on the various aspects of home renovation. The interns will also receive entrepreneurship training focused on providing the basics necessary to start and run a renovation business as a sole proprietor. This training will introduce the interns to contract development, budgeting, mechanic’s liens, invoicing, insurance and bonding.
Once the interns have successfully completed the 560-hour training program, they will receive a Certificate of Completion, a recommendation from the general contractor that has been acting as their supervisor and will receive priority consideration from the Cuyahoga Land Bank for selected future renovation work.
“Our mission is to provide workforce and personal development training opportunities to our target population,” says Stevens. “Clearly, this partnership will create economic and job development for the Greater Cleveland area.”
Since November the program has hired four interns, two full-time supervisors and a general contractor. The goal is to renovate six houses and hire four interns a year through the program. One house on W. 157th Street has already been renovated and sold through the program, and two more are near completion.
Source: Maurice Stevens
Writer: Karin Connelly