The CAP Services’ Fresh Start Program has expanded to be able to help more young people attain job skills and finish the education they need to enhance their job opportunities. Fresh Start is one of a handful of rural programs in the United States selected to be a YouthBuild Program as part of a grant from the U.S Department of Labor.
CAP’s Fresh Start Program takes disadvantaged, at-risk, and drop-out youth, as well as young people who have been in trouble with the law, and teaches them construction skills, life skills, and employability skills while helping them complete their educational goals.
About 40% of participants’ time in the program is spent building homes for low income families. They spend the rest of their time in education, leadership training and community service.
The program will now also feature a pre-apprenticeship construction certification and alternative energy training and certification opportunities. These will be led by Jesse Kusserow, the new site manager for the program. Kusserow brings a master’s degree in counseling to the program, along with expertise in home construction.
The Fresh Start staff has expanded under the YouthBuild Program to include a full time job coach and case manager, Laura Hall. Hall has a master’s degree in social work and experience with several social service programs.
The Fresh Start staff also now includes John Gosling, the youth development coordinator. Gosling has master’s degrees in education and counseling and is in charge of the completion of education goals for participants. These include completing GED, HSED and diploma opportunities that will lead to better jobs for the young people the program serves.
Deb Haessler, Family Development project assistant, also joined the Fresh Start staff recently from within CAP Services, moving from the Early Childhood Development Program, where she has more than eight years of experience.
“We are glad to see so many new faces, and the high level of skill and expertise they bring to the program,” said Clif Morton, CAP Services’ Fresh Start Program coordinator. “With our expanded offerings through the YouthBuild Program, we look forward to continuing to improve the services we offer to Waupaca youth.”
For more information about the program visit capservices.org/fresh-start or contact Morton at 715-258-9575 ext. 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAP Services is a private, nonprofit community action agency that has been helping low-income people in Waupaca, Marquette, Outagamie, Portage, and Waushara counties attain economic and emotional self-sufficiency since 1966.
YouthBuild USA was started informally in 1988 and incorporated in 1990 to guide the process of replicating and scaling up the YouthBuild program with quality in the United States after the program had succeeded in five neighborhoods in New York City. There are now 264 YouthBuild programs in 46 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. Over 120,000 YouthBuild students have built over 22,000 units of affordable, increasingly green, housing since 1994.