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YouthBuild Boston Finds New Home In Renovated Roxbury Firehouse With Help From $3.5 Million MassDevelopment Bond

February 14, 2011

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Andrew Padilla, YouthBuild Boston, 617-445-8887 x15 & 617-218-7041

MassDevelopment has issued a $3.5 million tax-exempt bond on behalf of Dudley Economic Empowerment Partners, a nonprofit that promotes economic development in Roxbury. The organization will use bond proceeds to buy and renovate a former firehouse in Roxbury, which its affiliate, YouthBuild Boston, will use for training, education, and administrative offices. Boston Private Bank & Trust Company purchased the bond.

“YouthBuild Boston gives its students the chance to learn career and life skills with hands-on programs,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Robert L. Culver. “This low-cost financing will help expand those programs, with the added benefits of rehabbing a previously vacant building and creating job training opportunities, a great fit with MassDevelopment's mission.”

Bond proceeds will also refinance a conventional bank loan. Founded in 1994, Dudley Economic Empowerment Partners invests in the community by purchasing strategic properties for development. As an affiliate, YouthBuild Boston works with local trade unions to provide underserved youths with important classroom, volunteer, and on-the-job training skills, often leading to union apprenticeship and careers in building trades. The organization has been recognized as a model workforce development program, improving opportunities for Boston youth.

“We launched YouthBuild Boston 20 years ago in a church basement. Nearly 900 graduates and 80 units of affordable housing later, it’s clear that we've made a huge, positive impact,” said Ken Smith, Executive Director of both YouthBuild Boston and Dudley Economic Empowerment Partners. “Our new headquarters represents a new chapter in our history, and an opportunity to be even better. We're very fortunate to have the support of our partners at MassDevelopment, the City of Boston, and Boston Private Bank, who've helped make this project a reality.”

MassDevelopment, the state's finance and development authority, works with businesses, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2010, MassDevelopment financed or managed 238 projects in 104 communities across the state generating investment of nearly $1.4 billion in the Massachusetts economy.