On Wednesday, July 3rd 2013 at 11:00 a.m., the Black Contractor’s Association celebrated the graduation of their YouthBuild participants. During the program Southeastern San Diego community youth had constructed a home for a low income family; installed solar panels on low income homes; achieved their high school diplomas or equivalent, obtained employment in high growth industries, earned their Pre-Apprenticeship Certified Training certificate and entered into college.
The BCA YouthBuild is a comprehensive youth and community development program as well as an alternative school. BCA YouthBuildwas designed to run 2 groups of 32 youth, cohort 1 and 2. Each cohort was given 10 months of education and training and a 1 year followup. The program offers job training, education, counseling, and leadership development opportunities to unemployed and out-of-school young adults, ages 16-24 through the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing in their own communities. BCAYouthBuild was funded $1.1 million by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The BCA YouthBuild roots traces its beginning back to 1978 when a group of New York City teenagers expressed their desire to renovate abandoned buildings and revitalize their community. The founder and then director of Youth Action Program of East Harlem, Dorothy Stoneman helped the teenagers select a building to renovate, raised funds for materials and hired adult trainers. It was a successful project. Thereafter, the Youth Action Program formed a coalition of local nonprofit organizations seeking to replicate the program. In 1988, this replication became a national youth movement. The Black Contractors Association of San Diego, Inc. became a part of this movement since 2000. They have successfully graduated over 400 young people and placed them in the career path of jobs, military, college etc.