Diakon gains state grant to support construction-vocation training for at-risk youths

Lancaster, Pa. (Thursday August 18, 2016)

Inside the walls of the Spanish-American Civic Association’s Tec Centro in Lancaster, students measured, cut and hammered their way to a potential future.

The area youths, all enrolled in Diakon Youth Services’ Turning Point Program, were taking part in vocational training designed to open their world to possible job opportunities. The Turning Point program provides an alternative day treatment setting for young men who have been adjudicated delinquent or dependent.

The program’s vocational emphasis was recently strengthened by a $25,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency and the Department of Human Services’ Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services. The grant funding supports vocational instruction equipment and supplies. 

“Construction is a big industry in the region and one in which they can get employment without needing a high school diploma or GED,” says Tanisha Negron-Bailey, Turning Point director. “While we encourage the youths with whom we work to continue their education, we also look for areas in which they can gain more-immediate employment with livable wages and then develop programs to provide the skills they need. Our focus is on helping the young men become productive and contributing members of the community.”

The grant funding assists affiliates of the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Project to reduce recidivism and improve at-risk youths’ outcomes, as well as promote success and achievement in their work, schools, and community. PACTT grant funding is made available through the Juvenile Justice Reinvestment Initiative to advance academic and career/technical training among adjudicated youths.

For further information, please contact:
William Swanger, M.A., APR
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries
(717) 795-0308
E-mail: swangerb@diakon.org