Evanston, Ill. – More than 40 people attended the Youth Job Center of Evanston’s conversation event with Jeff Schoenberg, Illinois State Senator-9th District, this November. Schoenberg discussed the $200,000 Illinois grant given to the YJC, which will be used to make the facility more environmentally friendly and directly enable the agency to put more Evanston youth to work.

“This important capital investment will create jobs in our community that will pay dividends for dozens of young Evanston residents,” Schoenberg said. “The Youth Job Center’s job creation initiative will also ensure that the building renovation will realize significant reductions in energy costs as the result of this comprehensive ‘greening’ process.”

The evening began with a brief speech by Milton Nivose, 23, about how the YJC has affected his life. Nivose participated in the Strategic Corporate Alliances 3-week job-readiness program and recently was placed into an internship at CJE Senior Life as a research assistant through the Youth Employment Initiative.

The program continued as Schoenberg thanked Nivose and called him a great example of the work done by the YJC. Schoenberg also thanked the YJC for its efforts and spoke about the relevance of its upcoming green building project to the public discussion on job growth. He noted how such an initiative is an investment in the community’s future, and that the YJC can serve as a model for other agencies hoping to pursue sustainability.

Plans to retrofit the YJC’s Church Street facility are already underway. The YJC’s Building Committee, which includes volunteer members from the community and Northwestern University, is continuing to investigate different strategies to “go green” and ways to promote energy-efficiency in the Evanston community.

The YJC expects to see substantial cost savings with the new efficiency measures, including an estimated 40 percent savings in electricity and an overall 60 percent savings in heating and cooling. These savings will be accomplished through a number of structural enhancements, including upgrades to the electrical and lighting systems, new windows and roofing, and improved insulation of the building envelope. The YJC hopes that the new improvements will help qualify the building for eventual LEED certification.

The Youth Job Center of Evanston prepares youth ages 14-25 for success in the workplace through job-readiness, placement and employment support in partnership with employers.