YBN has partnered with HANDS to pilot a youth construction program in Orange, NJ. YBN will provide construction training to a small group of young adults in the target neighborhood HANDS is currently helping to revitalize. The program was made possible through funding from the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC), which  is designed to foster the revitalization of New Jersey’s distressed neighborhoods. Provident Bank is a contributor to the project.

HANDS has implemented neighborhood revitalization efforts in Orange and East Orange for over 30 years. By targeting the most pivotal properties for development, engaging citizens and other stakeholders, and leveraging investments of time and funds, HANDS has stabilized neighborhoods and created long-term sustainable change. HANDS focuses on redeveloping vacant and foreclosed homes for affordable homeownership, adaptively reusing former industrial and commercial buildings as mixed use developments, developing resident leaders and leading community visioning and comprehensive planning.

This program resembles YBN’s previous pilot initiative in 2007 when support from the U.S. Department of Labor enabled YBN to expand its programming into the Ironbound community in Newark and the neighboring city of East Orange for youth impacted by the justice system. The initiative helped 83% of students obtain credentials and/or transition to postsecondary education, advanced training, and employment. The program provided the foundation for YBN’s 2010 State-wide Intermediary initiative and the current city-wide Opportunity Youth Network.