Project Description

Build Up Academy
Grant Award:
SELF’s overall goals aim to help clients: move beyond crisis situations toward improved financial stability andgeneral well-being, retain the attitudes and skills necessary for sustained employment and self-sufficiency,and build assets to break the cycle of poverty in Butler County.  This grant will double the capacity of theBuild-Up Academy program which trains, educates and mentors under/unemployed young adults so they can
gain employment in the construction field.
2015 Grant Recipient: SELF Build-Up Academy (2018 Final Report Summary):

The Impact 100 grant has provided SELF with the ability to provide a greater number of Butler County residents with much needed home repairs. Along with this, SELF has been able to double the capacity of the Build-Up Academy program. This program has provided clients with the opportunity to enhance their job skills which increases their ability to build a better life for themselves and their families”

Goal: Immediate expansion of program capacity by allocating appropriate staff time as proposed in budget to double capacity of the Build-Up Academy from one (session) per year to two per year over two years (totaling 4 Build-Up Academy sessions).

  • A total of four sessions were held during the two-year grant period, effectively doubling the capacity.

Goal:  Expand the Build-Up Academy from 10 students per session to 15 students per session and from 1 session per year to 2 sessions per year, totaling:

  • 30 students year one (2016), 30 students year two (2017)
  • 24 students enrolled in 2016 and 30 students in 2017. (Outcome for 2016 was slightly lower than projected, 2017 Goal was accomplished)

Goal:   Maintain and assess current Build-Up Academy student graduation rate of 80% or higher and 67% new or better job placement.

  • 92% graduation rate was achieved in 2016. Of those graduating, 17 or 77% located employment. (Exceeded goal)
  • 73% graduation rate was achieved in 2017.  Of those graduating, 18 or 82% located employment. (Graduation rate slightly lower than projected, Employment rate – Exceeded Goal)

Goal:       Maintain 80% employment 1 year after graduation (Goal not met)

  • In 2016, 64% graduates maintained employment for 1 year.
  • In 2017, 6 of 11 (66%) maintained employment for one year. For the other 11, a full year has not passed since the November 2017 class was completed.

There are challenges facing some who try to move from their low-paying jobs to follow up on leads and pursue jobs in construction. Factors include:

  • Fear of the unknown, starting over
  • Work schedule of construction jobs being harder to work around childcare
  • Losing benefits by making too much money.

Goal:    Complete house rehabilitation for continued Build-Up Academy growth, netting $50,000 total in profit from sale over two years: (Goal Accomplished)

  • SELF successfully rehabilitated 1 home, netting $45,000, in 2017.  Two additional homes were acquired by SELF in late 2017/early 2018 and are being rehabilitated at this time. One is being closed upon in June and is expected to net $35,000.

Goal:  Increase repairs by 30% from 106 to 135 unduplicated homes by the end of year two (2017).

  • In 2017, SELF repaired a total of 172 homes.  Of the 172, 117 were unduplicated. (SELF worked on greater need, more complex jobs, hence the goal was not met)

SELF continues to celebrate the success of the Build-Up Academy program in assisting clients in advancing their job skills and wage-earning capacity.  One of the unexpected successes was assisting so many clients who are in recovery programs. In Class 5 three graduates were recovering addicts. in Class 6 ten out of 14 graduates were in recovery. Building self-image and confidence is as big a win as actually moving them into construction jobs.