United Teen Equality Center (Project #1) (2011), Lowell, MA

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Cafe UTEC: UTEC is a youth education and workforce training program located in Lowell, MA. To update its facilities and meet its growing needs, UTEC renovated and expanded its building to include a renovated cafe and commercial kitchen, a performance center, and classrooms. The building’s energy-saving design features, including a natural ventilation system that incorporates the old church steeple into the new green design, achieved LEED Platinum certification. Café UTEC is way more than your average lunchtime eatery. While enjoying a delicious panini, a salad of locally-sourced veggies, or a fresh-baked cookie, customers are also showing support of UTEC’s important mission to ignite and nurture the ambition of our most disconnected youth to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success. As one of UTEC’s Workforce Development and Social Enterprise programs, Café UTEC provides youth most in need the opportunity to gain valuable job skills and real earnings to help them pursue positive life choices. Additionally, young leaders are engaged in the building and management of our businesses, further igniting their entrepreneurial spirit.

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