Success Story | Easterseals TriState

The Easterseals TriState (ESTS) YouthBuild home at 1710 Brewster Avenue in Evanston is finished and on the market. The Hamilton County Landbank helped Easterseals acquire the home which was rehabbed by the first cohort of YouthBuild apprentices. The training program helps youth, who face barriers to academic and employment success, acquire construction skills and provide affordable housing throughout the country.

YouthBuild, a U.S. Department of Labor program managed by ESTS, provides construction training to apprentices, 16 -24 years old, who face barriers to academic and employment success. Participants learn in a hands-on environment, build a work history, character references and are exposed to a variety of construction jobs while working on a real project.

“The transformation of the house on Brewster Avenue to a home is incredible,” said Deborah Robb, Director of Homesteading & Urban Redevelopment Corporation (HURC) and Residential Sales at The Port. “Now, we have a team of young men and women who have gained valuable hands-on trade skills that they can take anywhere in the world and use to support themselves. And, what was once a shell, is a beautiful home is now ready to welcome a family.”


Two of the 17 apprentices in the first cohort, Maurice, a resident of Clifton, and Caleb, of the West End, shared that they learned a lot about construction and enjoyed the program. Both are planning to pursue construction certification this fall. Over 80 percent of the youth complete the YouthBuild program with construction credentials, the NCCER.

With the help of the Hamilton County Landbank, ESTS acquired 1985 Kinney Avenue and the second cohort of 20 apprentices are already learning new skills and rehabbing the house into a home.

“It’s so exciting to work with the apprentices and see them grow and succeed as they gain real-world construction experience through the Youthbuild program. We are grateful for the support of The Port and the Landbank as we continue to train more apprentices and future construction industry professionals.”

Don Wittrock

Manager, Hamilton County Youth Services, Easterseals