The Department of Housing and Urban Development, in cooperation with the Department of Labor, announced a demonstration project yesterday to train up to 350 minority youths in each of 20 cities, including the District and Baltimore, in housing-related skills.
Under the program, scheduled to start this summer, disadvantaged young people between the ages of 16 and 21 will be trained for entry-level jobs in the public and private housing field, HUD said.
"We will give them job-training opportunities in housing maintenance and management, rehabilitation, and property disposition and appraisal," HUD Secretary Samuel R. Pierce Jr. said. "Since jobs in these areas will exist for a long time to come, we are preparing these young people for permanent employment."
Flanked by the mayors of nine of the participating cities at a news conference here, Pierce said the project will be funded through HUD's existing programs and by Labor Department funds available under the Job Training Parnership Act. HUD is also making available $100,000 to each participating public housing authority through its comprehensive improvement assistance program.
The project's basic program and training curriculum was designed by Match Institution, a local firm, but each program is to be tailored to the needs of its area. Private Industry Councils, which are funded by the Job Training Partnership Act, will contract with local sponsors, which, in some cases, will be the local public housing authority.
Details of how the programs will operate in each locale have not yet been worked out.
"We will be creating a labor force which is needed to improve and better maintain our existing housing stock, both public and private," Pierce said.