Volunteers improved the appearance of the Downtown Recreation Complex and built shelves, cabinets and storage lockers for the Parramore Kidz Zone.

OUC employees and some of their family members – 41 in all – made noticeable improvements to Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ) and the overall appearance of its host site, the Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex, on Jan. 28. As an OUC Employee Volunteer Project, the group focused its energies on building cabinets, shelves and storage lockers (below) for tools and other materials that are used by students in the OUC-sponsored Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program held at PKZ.

Volunteers also cleaned floors, windows and restrooms, swept outdoor walkways, picked up trash, pulled weeds outside and removed a dilapidated deck at the recreation center. Five members of PKZ, a nonprofit program that seeks to help at-risk youths, joined the volunteer event.

The Downtown Recreation Complex is located in OUC’s Empowerment Zone, an initiative committed to helping revitalize the disadvantaged area encompassing the 32805 ZIP Code. It houses PKZ classrooms where participants in the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program learn skills that prepare them for careers in construction, electrical and other trades. Graduates of the 2021 inaugural class all received full-time job offers paying more than $30,000 a year, plus benefits and paid apprenticeship training classes to help them with career advancement.

On Jan. 19, members of OUC’s Facilities team and Empower Zone Task Force removed old shelving and cabinets from classrooms where the training program is held so OUC contractor Picasso Painting Contracting could paint interior spaces.

Alandus Sims (left), Project Manager of Strategic Community Partnerships, and Stephanie Kresl, Talent Acquisition Partner, help clean the Downtown Recreation Complex.

Queen Massaline, Sr. Community Engagement Coordinator, helps remove old shelves.