Partners with Concrete Strategies, Clayco and the Construction Career Development Initiative with the support of Geotechnology, Inc. and the St. Louis Job Corps Center.
Habitat for Humanity’s breaks ground on a new home build today, bringing together a collaborative team led by Concrete Strategies, part of the Clayco enterprise, and workforce diversity nonprofit Construction Career Development Initiative (CCDI). The four-day build will take place at 3429 and 3427 Park Avenue, and each day the site will be staffed with twelve skilled Clayco and CCDI volunteers. The volunteers will be pouring foundations for two homes in St. Louis’s Gate District neighborhood and helping to support minority representation in construction.
While Concrete Strategies and CCDI are providing volunteers and donations, the project is also fueled by a partnership with the St. Louis Job Corps Center’s construction program, Geotechnology, Inc., and other local subcontractors who partner with CCDI to hire program graduates into full-time employment. Three CCDI graduates who are now employed full-time with Concrete Strategies are participating in the build: Chris Conners (class of 2016), Keshawn Outlaw (class of 2018) and Shutaun Williams (class of 2020 and a St. Louis Job Corps graduate).
“Habitat for Humanity appreciates the tremendous planning, skills and time that each of the partners in this build have dedicated,” said Kimberly McKinney, Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis CEO. “It’s especially meaningful knowing we are bringing together a changemaking group of individuals to participate. Our team of community partners are driving equitable opportunities for the underserved in our community.”
Volunteer Shutaun Williams, a 2020 CCDI graduate and Concrete Strategies carpenter, joins fellow graduates and four of his former St. Louis Job Corps instructors on the project. “The build is bringing together a group of people who want to do good for our community,” said Shutaun. “I am happy to be part of this project, and even more so, I am proud to be a part of the CCDI family. To have a support system of impactful leaders who want to see you succeed and want to create solutions that give more people an opportunity to overcome systematic barriers—this support is unmatchable.”
CCDI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by Clayco in 2015 in response to the unrest in Ferguson to provide career development opportunities to young minority adults who are underrepresented within the construction industry. The organization works to bridge the workforce diversity gap by partnering with various school districts in North St. Louis County and St. Louis City, community leaders and organizations such as St. Louis Job Corps and North Technical High School to cultivate a renewed interest in apprenticeships and career technical education programs. For example, once students graduate from St. Louis Job Corps Center, CCDI helps to place program graduates into full-time employment and assists with any barriers students may face from transportation to tools to help ensure retention in the construction industry. Since CCDI’s establishment in 2015, 80 of the program’s students have been placed in full-time careers.
“All of us involved are thrilled by the opportunity to serve our St. Louis neighbors,” said Tom Sieckhaus, President of CCDI and Executive Vice President of Clayco’s Corporate Business Unit. “This build signifies our shared commitment to placing underserved young people into full-time employment and expanding our joint reach to ensure as many people as possible have access to career development in the construction field is critically important.”
Longtime CCDI partner Dr. Dave Baker was in attendance at the groundbreaking. Dr. Baker retired last year from his role as Assistant Superintendent of College and Career Readiness of Special School District and is now the Business and Community Liaison for St. Louis Job Corps. About CCDI and its impact, Dr. Baker said, “CCDI has become integral in the northern portion of the St. Louis region in regard to ensuring a diverse and competent workforce for the construction industry. CCDI has taken on the task of connecting young men and women interested in the field of construction to the companies who will mentor and eventually hire them. Young people need validation of their hard work and good decisions; CCDI and its partners are providing that validation.”
# # #
Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering, and construction firm that safely delivers clients across North America the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. With $3.8 billion in revenue for 2020, Clayco specializes in the “art and science of building,” providing fast track, efficient solutions for industrial, commercial, institutional and residential related building projects. For more information visit www.claycorp.com.
About Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis
Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis (HFHSL) is a not-for-profit, ecumenical housing ministry working in partnership with individuals and communities to improve housing conditions and provide safe, decent and affordable housing in St. Louis City and County. With more than 400 homes already built or rehabbed, HFHSL is one of the leading housing developers in St. Louis. HFHSL regularly ranks among the top Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the country. HFHSL donors, volunteers, and partner families work side-by-side to build or rehab homes ensuring that every deserving family in St. Louis has a decent place to live. Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis: Building Homes, Building Hope, Building St. Louis. For more information, visit: www.habitatstl.org.
About the Construction Career Development Initiative
The Construction Career Development Initiative (CCDI) was founded by Clayco in 2015 in response to the aftermath in Ferguson, Missouri to provide a program for selected young adults in North County to help them overcome barriers to success, pair them in long-term one-on-one mentorship, offer financial support, and create opportunities for job placement. Clayco’s vision and ultimate goal with CCDI is to support workforce diversity and bridge the gap in workforce development. Clayco realized this task could not be completed alone and that is what this initiative has grown over the past three years to include many partnerships in the St. Louis community with school districts, local leaders and contractors and subcontractors. Together, we can build the foundation to change. For more information, please visit https://ccdi.org/.
About St. Louis Job Corps
St. Louis Job Corps Center supports the Job Corps program’s mission to teach eligible young people the skills they need to become employable and independent and place them in meaningful jobs or further education. St. Louis Job Corps has 15 Career Technical Training Programs and six (6) are in the Construction Trades. The program also draws students from St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County; the majority of Job Corps participants hail from St. Louis City and north St. Louis County, the areas of CCDI’s focus. Job Corps is a U.S. Department of Labor Equal Opportunity Employer Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.