The three-building campus that served as the Mott Brothers Company headquarters has been home to Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc. (CCS), a workforce development agency since 2002. CCS received a $300,000 grant secured by 67 District State Representative Maurice West through the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). CCS will use funds to renovate and expand the learning environment for their youth. ROCKFORD, Ill., January 24, 2023 - Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc. (CCS) a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 1992, has managed the YouthBuild Rockford program since 1994. In 2002, CCS acquired the once Mott Brothers Company campus located at 917 South Main Street. Last year, State Representative Maurice West recommended CCS apply for a grant to support much needed renovations to the over one-hundred-year-old facilities. Last week, CCS was notified they were awarded the $300,000 grant through the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The grant will be used to build out additional classrooms, offices and flexible learning spaces for youth within
"The goal for our learning environment is to inspire learning," says William Chatman, Executive Director and CEO for Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc. "The walls talk, and these renovations will show our young people how changing your surroundings can change your life." William Chatman also acknowledged, "CCS would not have obtained this working capital without the support and advocacy of State Representative Maurice West - We are grateful our youth have access to such a capable and affective role model."
State Representative Maurice West has been a strong supporter of Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc. - Serving as a guest speaker, donor and mentor to youth within CCS programs.
"Investing in our youth and reducing the skills gap are fundamental to the long-term success of our community," said West. "By investing in Comprehensive Community Solutions, I know the young people they work with will be able to more successfully develop educational, vocational, and other skills that will allow them to thrive and will help to uplift our community. That's why I'm proud to have secured $300,000 in capital funding for YouthBuild. The funding is going to an organization dedicated to educating and training young adults so they can be successful members of our community."
Comprehensive Community Solutions, Inc. (CCS) currently manages three youth programs: YouthBuild Rockford, RockFor Work and ALPHA.
About YouthBuild Rockford
CCS has been a provisional member of the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network since 1995, subscribing to nationally-recognized program standards, and participates actively in local, regional and national YouthBuild AmeriCorps activities. CCS underwent its first external program audit in 1997, and in 2003 moved to full membership, one of only four such programs in the country.
YouthBuild Rockford is a workforce development program serving youth between the ages of 16-24 who have dropped out, are on the verge of dropping out, and are economically disenfranchised. YouthBuild provides academic education that leads to a high school diploma, vocational skills training that leads to an industry recognized credential, personal case management that leads to a personal development plan, positive peer support, leadership development, job placement and follow up support.
Young people spend half their time in academic programming and half learning skills in construction. Participants build or rehabilitate housing for low-income families, and have produced 55 units of housing in Rockford since the program began. Since 1995, YouthBuild Rockford has seen over 6,000 youth apply, and has served more than 1,055 young people. The youth enrolled in YouthBuild Rockford have been 79% minority, 88% low income, 53% have had a criminal record, and 97% have been high school drop outs. 80% of the youth enrolled in YouthBuild Rockford were placed in employment and/or post-secondary education by the time they completed the program and 69% retained that placement for at least a year. Youth enrolled in YouthBuild Rockford have completed over 420.000 hours of community service.
RockForWork (RFW) is a program designed for youth ages 16 - 24 that have a high school diploma, but are not sure what to do next.
RFW helps youth earn additional skills and credentials while providing hands-on experience in five pathways: welding, truck driving, CNA, construction and culinary training. RFW graduates have a similar; however, streamlined intake and active programming schedule as YouthBuild - Interview, orientation, leadership, life skill and employability workshop completion. Also, RFW participants must earn an industry recognized certificate in one of the five pathways mentioned above.
ALPHA stands for Advanced Learning Program for Higher Achievements. ALPHA is a program that serves youth ages 11 - 24, Monday - Friday from 3 PM - 8 PM. The focus of the ALPHA program is fitness, nutrition, tutoring, mentorship, and community engagement. ALPHA programming is facilitated in a state of the art boxing gym equipped with heavy bags, cardio machines and free weights. Transportation is provided to and from programming, and participants receive two meals each day.