DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A vocational community for men in recovery from addiction is set to open in Xenia this spring.

Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative, located at the former Greene County Career Center, is working to create a certified trade school with the goal of providing sustainable employment and income.

Organization officials say the initiative is aimed at men in recovery and youth aging out of foster care.

The project started in December 2022 after commissioners unanimously approved a $1 million federal grant using ARPA funds.

“We like to say ‘yes,’ especially when it’s a great cause like this,” Commissioner Tom Koogler said. “This was a no-brainer. It seems like Emerge is going to be able to help with almost every major issue we currently have in the county in some way.”

Commissioner Gould said he believes the model being implemented at Emerge could be applied throughout the nation.

“We are excited about this project,” Commissioner Gould said. “All three of us agreed on this. In fact, this is one of the few projects that we increased the initial amount for.”

Commissioner Perales, the president of the commission, said the timing of the project was perfect, and he hopes to see the organization open soon. He said he thinks that Emerge has the potential to help a lot of people.

“The Miami Valley is a generous community and has been a place where many grass roots efforts have filled a definite need within the community. Emerge is one more example of people coming together to tackle some important issues,” Elaine Bonner, Director of Philanthropy at Emerge, said.

“Emerge will be an important strategy to building the workforce among a group of individuals who are often underrepresented.”

More information about Emerge can be found on the organization’s website.