DEKALB COUNTY, GA (August 2022) -– Tekton Career Training, a DeKalb County-based business that focuses on training refugees in trade careers, is extending and expanding its Empower Clarkston program after receiving a combined $375,000 from DeKalb County Super District 6 Commissioner Ted Terry and the City of Clarkston. Commissioner Terry awarded Tekton $250,000 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant funding, and The City of Clarkston provided Tekton with $125,000 in ARP grant funding.
A press conference will be held detailing more about this announcement:
When: Wednesday, September 7, 10 a.m.
Where: Tekton Training Facilities, 3529 Church St Suite D, Clarkston, GA 30021
Attending: DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry, City of Clarkston Mayor Beverly Burks, City of Clarkston Councilmember YT Bell, Tekton Career Training representatives
Empower Clarkston, one of many training programs Tekton offers, is a two-week, paid course that teaches participants how to renovate and incorporate energy-efficient upgrades to existing homes, apartments and other residences. This includes installing window and door sealants that reduce heat and air leaks, repairing structural damage and ensuring air ducts are sealed properly. Upgrades are free to homeowners. Participants in last year’s program saw a 35 percent decrease in their energy and electricity bills.
“Empower Clarkston benefits a broad range of people. Refugees seeking employment can get paid to learn necessary trades, and often can graduate with a job offer. Homeowners, especially those in need, can also get money-saving upgrades to their residences free of charge,” Alyson Luzetsky, program manager at Tekton, said. “With this funding, we’ll be able to continue to offer this program for at least an additional two years.”
The new Empower Clarkston program is currently accepting applications for trainees and homeowners. The first training class starts on September 19.
“By funding Empower Clarkston, we can ensure better workforce training, provide energy-efficient improvements for vulnerable residents and strengthen our county’s fight against climate change,” Commissioner Ted Terry said. “I’m thrilled to see this fantastic program continue to spread good throughout our county.”
Commissioner Terry recognized the need to expand this program and its benefits, encouraging Tekton to apply for grant funding last year. He said it’s vital to support businesses and organizations that give back to the county in such multi-faceted ways. Through this and other Tekton programs, refugees are able to secure stable jobs, giving them solid ground to lay roots in their new communities. At the same time, homeowners and renters benefit from lower bills and more energy-efficient, green homes.
Clarkston City Councilwoman YT Bell also saw the community benefit from supporting this programming. Councilwoman Bell advocated for Tekton to receive its grant from the city, introducing the organization’s mission to fellow councilmembers, who later unanimously voted to support Empower Clarkston.
“I’m so excited about this investment in our community, our economy, and supporting residents with burdens that will save residents money monthly,” Councilmember Bell said. “(Through Empower Clarkston), we can provide water and energy efficiency services to reduce cost burdens to residents by the City of Clarkston, while supporting efforts to invest in our workforce and talent pool in our city and meeting the needs of our community.”
Learn more about Empower Clarkston, here: https://tektontraining.org/apply/.
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