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Regional News

Syracuse nonprofit able to find different funding source for job training program

A youth jobs and high school completion program in Syracuse will be able to continue thanks to a grant in this year’s state budget.

Jubilee Homes has previously been able to run its Youth Build and high school equivalency diploma program with federal grants, but Jubilee’s director Walt Dixie says those dollars have been drying up.

Youth Build is a nationwide program that teaches teens construction job skills; but half of the programs across the country have been defunded.

Jubilee was able to lobby state representatives and $310,000 grant was included in the state budget. Dixie says he hopes the state and local sources can be a more reliable source of funding.

"More importantly we got to figure how we get the city and our, the city county and also the business community to see these are viable programs," he said.

The program will be able to run for a year and a half, according to Dixie. He says the goal is to get as many kids through the high school equivalency program as possible.

"We have many kids out here not working and not going to school, 50 percent are not graduating. Anytime you can have a program of this magnitude to help with those numbers it’s a good thing," said Dixie.

Jubilee operates on Syracuse’s impoverished southwest side. It’s constructed about 100 homes and is working to open a grocery store. But Jubilee has been under fiscal strain recently. Dixie and his colleagues had to take a pay cut last year to keep operating. He says despite this grant, money at the non-profit is still hard to come by.