Henry Graham

27th Annual African American History Calendar Honoree

Miami Herald Media Company

NETwork

Mr. Henry Graham has been the Executive Director for LES since its inception.  Mr. Graham has overseen all the construction projects LES has undertaken.  He has over 35 years of experience in community development, this includes program development and compliance, equal opportunity employment, housing and urban and economic development. He has developed strong relationships with Career Source, the City of Hollywood, the City of Dana Beach, the City of Fort Lauderdale, the School District of Broward County, Broward County Sheriff Department, Broward County Commission, State and Federal Agencies and many other local and national organizations.

Liberia Economic and Social Development, Inc. (LES) is a Community Development Corporation (CDC) and a Community Based Organization (CBO), established in 1981.  Since then LES has provided economic opportunities to low-income through training to unemployed, unskilled and underemployed residents.  The Corporation has a large mission, to develop and implement a full-service strategy to increase available housing, increase employment, to revitalize and promote the business commercial corridors and improve the general characteristics of the community.  LES’s dedication toward fulfilling that mission has been steadfast. 

Some of the successful programs LES has implemented include:
  • The Apprenticeship Training Program in Sheet Metal, Masonry and Trades, 95% job placement
  • Community Pantry – feeding the hungry in Hollywood and southern Broward County, over the past 10 years the number of residents seeking food has increased over 50%.
  • Youth Enterprise Program and on Track– A program for “at risk” youth between the ages of 15 – 21 which provided training in various vocational skill areas while providing academic assistance.  The focus of this program is developing business skills for employment and long-term career development.  YEP also provides income opportunities.  The students work in their skill training areas and market the produced items to the public.  But most importantly the program instills in the youth an “I CAN” spirit”.  None of the participating students have fallen victim to the aliments that many students who fit this socio-economic profile have fallen into. 

Phase 2 will develop and expand the original goals and objectives of the NPSPP Learning Center.  Additional services to include youth and adult job training, K-12 farming/agricultural learning lab experiences with special focus on promoting the protection of the Watershed in South Florida and becoming a water town community in South Florida.

This second phase initiative is not new to Liberia Economic and Social Development Inc. [LES].  This second phase initiative has been the core actions and implementation for LES.  Youth and adult training programs offering learning with skills integration and environmental awareness continue to thrive within the mission and vision of LES.

Outcome

With the use of the property, the program will bring:

  • Environmental education to reduce, prevent and remove NPS pollution from construction sites
  • Build urban greenhouse, to increase urban farming and vertical farming model
  • Create indoor/outdoor classroom meeting facilities on the NPSPPLC site
  • Increase urban and create food production and job training
  • Facilitate a reward program for students to receive scholarships to colleges and universities
  • Build community gardens with students and the community to encourage and promote gardening and careers in agriculture.
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Anthony “Booger” McFarland

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