My Brother’s Workshop announced plans Monday for a November groundbreaking ceremony for its planned 30,000-square-foot campus in central St. Thomas.
In a news release issued Monday, the non-profit organization, which provides mentoring, counseling, paid job training and education to Virgin Islands charitable corporation, the facility will be located mid-island on Donoe Bypass and serve clients from St. Thomas and St. John with the capacity to see over 1,000 students.
To date, the organization said, $1.18 million, or 30 percent of the projected funds needed for Phase One of the project, have been raised from private donations and sponsorships including Bonnie and Ty Troutman, Robert and Maureen Sievers Family Charitable Gift Fund, Anne and Andy Hemmert, Columba Energy, Secret Harbour Beach Resorts Association, Keswick Guaranty, Inc., Charity Girls, I. Levin Properties, D. Lynch, G. Miller, K. Jamron and anonymous donors.
The Stephenson Family, who are long-time supporters of MBW, pledged to match $1 million in donations made through June 23, 2022.
“On behalf of MBW, a huge thank you to these first donors who have propelled this project,” said Executive Director Jenny Hawkes. “We look forward to the groundbreaking where we can celebrate.”
All sponsors who commit to the MBW Campus Project by Oct. 15 will be invited to and recognized at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Those who want to donate to the MBW Campus Project can do so online at the organization’s Building Hope website.
More information on the project and program is available along with information about sponsorship opportunities is available by contacting MBW Communications Director Chrystie Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In its news release, the organization said the project will be completed in phases, beginning with Phase 1, the construction of the Stephenson Family Welcome Center, which will include banquet space, cafe, industrial kitchen, classrooms and offices. This building will house the following programs: culinary arts, catering services, customer service training, online high school, anger management, offices and welcome center, classrooms and individual counseling. Also, several new programs will be conducted in the area: retail experience, family counseling and parenting classes/child care services.
(See MBW Campus Brochure)
The following phases will include construction of the new MBW Workshop and MBW Community Center. The project is expected to take three to four years to complete. MBW’s main campus will be comprised of three structures totaling 30,000 square feet, eventually allowing for more than 1,000 people per year to receive vocational training, mentoring, mental health counseling, tutoring, online high school diplomas, job placement services, anger management, parenting classes, and access to art, music and sports.
The current MBW St. Thomas footprint spans three locations and is about 15,000 square feet. By doubling the space, MBW will have the ability to become energy efficient with solar panels, offer more effective training, provide mental health resources (including family counseling and individual counseling), classrooms for high school diplomas and continuing education, youth development, special needs training, free services to the USVI community, resiliency and sustainability programs and increased disaster response capacity.
MBW’s statement also notes that the increase in space will allow the organization to respond quickly and on a larger scale to disasters, as they did after the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and through the hardships of COVID-19, while keeping youth engaged in the program.
“With the additional programs, MBW will have the ability to work with older populations in workforce development for individuals needing to change career paths after life-altering events and also be able to work with clients who have special needs or disabilities to help obtain employment,” the news release said.