Hartford Program to Document Project CRAFT Effectiveness
Home Builders Institute (HBI) — the workforce development arm of NAHB — is opening a new Project CRAFT program in Hartford, Conn. to expand its trades training for court-involved men and women.
Project CRAFT takes a comprehensive approach, setting multiple goals, to equip troubled young people with the skills they need to find jobs in the residential construction industry and replenish the industry’s workforce.
Congress has repeatedly recognized Project CRAFT as a “model intervention in the rehabilitation and reduced recidivism of adjudicated youth.” Additionally, a Senate committee has encouraged the Department of Labor “to replicate Project CRAFT to bring its outcomes-oriented approach to adjudicated juveniles throughout the country in order to help them become members of this industry's workforce and spur the nation's economy.”
In response to this congressional support, the Hartford program will closely examine how CRAFT students fare after completing their 30 months of training and determine the effectiveness of vocational instruction used in conjunction with “Multisystemic Therapy" (MST) in reducing recidivism and juvenile crime.
Project CRAFT/Hartford was established through a partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), which currently operates its own MST program with Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, Bureau of Juvenile Services.
HBI and MUSC received a grant from the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to begin training its first group of students in January.
HBI’s role will be to prepare students for life outside the court system, and the University of Connecticut and NIH will conduct the research aspect of the project, monitoring student progress and comparing CRAFT students with those not in the program.
“The research and results component of this initiative is vital to continued growth and replication of Project CRAFT”, said HBI Vice Chair Bill Paul, a frequent speaker at Project CRAFT sites. “This grant will help confirm that the program works and will provide more supporting data for the many personal success stories of Project CRAFT students.”
Favorable recidivism results, which have consistently been recorded among Project CRAFT students, will lead to the expansion of the program to as many as five new locations, for at least three years.
Other organizations participating in the program are the Home Builders Association of Connecticut and the City of Hartford.
Currently, HBI operates Project CRAFT programs in Nashville, Tenn.; at Operation Reconstruct, a Hurricane Katrina rebuilding effort in New Orleans; and at five sites in Florida.
For more information on Project CRAFT, e-mail John Hattery at HBI, or call him at 800-795-7955 x8916.