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Holt Launches Innovative Vocational Program for Scioto Youth

John HoltJohn Holt of New England Homes recently created an innovative program to help youth at the Ohio Department of Youth Services’ Scioto Juvenile Correctional Facility learn construction trades.

Holt, a volunteer at Scioto, came up with the idea for the Vocational Bridge Professional Program, known as VBPro, after talking to a teenager during a Scioto bible study class. The youth had a dream of becoming a brick mason – but no idea how to make his dream come true. This struck close to Holt’s heart because he began his homebuilding career as a brick mason.

The conversation gave Holt the inspiration to start VBPro, a program to introduce Scioto’s young men and women to the different trades in the construction industry. Holt says the project’s goal is to give Scioto youth something to be excited about for their future.

VBPro’s training modules each focus on a specific trade and include an introduction to the trade plus a hands-on demonstration of how it is performed.
In VBPro’s first project, students are learning the basics of framing by working on wood shelving for the Fifth Avenue food pantry currently being built by Vineyard Columbus.

Holt says VBPro is designed to give Scioto’s male and female youth not only a useful skill they can build into a career – but also a connection with the world outside the Scioto facility and a sense of pride for a job well done.

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