R3 Development

East St. Louis

Brief History

R3 Development officially started in 2015, however, its roots began in 2008 through a local church ministry whose mission was to mentor and disciple youth in East St. Louis, IL. In 2014, that ministry began to consider how it might inspire holistic change in the city of East St. Louis through asset-based housing, workforce and community development efforts, which resulted in the formation of R3. From the beginning the organization had three core objectives: 1) Disciple youth through employment 2) Be reputable landlords for the community and 3) Generate revenue to complement philanthropic giving. As R3 has grown over the years, those core objectives have continued to guide the work, strengthening the organization’s foundation through key strategic partnerships (specifically with local churches), social enterprise efforts and an unwavering commitment to embody empathy, humility, integrity and hope in service to the next generations of leaders in the community.

Mission Statement and/or Core Values

R3 Development is non-profit youth workforce training program that exists to mobilize and elevate a pipeline of hopeful youth equipped with the skills needed for success in the working world and the confidence to take control of their futures. With a faith-based foundation focused in the East St. Louis Metro Area, R3’s mission is to empower the youth of the East St. Louis with job opportunities that equip them with the resources and skills necessary for success. Serving youth ages 16–24, R3 programming provides opportunities that impact education, occupational skills training, employment service, leadership training, and community service for program participants. R3’s goal is to identify a clear path for advancement from the average starting point of East St. Louis’ youth population. R3 aims to make an impact on the national skilled labor shortage in the construction industry by preparing Metro East youth with skills necessary to competently engage the construction trades. As a United Way Safety-Net, non-profit, the R3 program model seeks to improve and impact economic outcomes, youth employment and leadership development, construction skills and job training, job placement, and affordable housing development. 

Student Demographics

R3 serves male and female students primarily in the East St. Louis District 189, as well as some of the surrounding districts. Our service area is 98%+ African American, targeting youth ages 16-24 within the local school system, as well as young people 16–24, who are not within a traditional school or classroom setting, whether due to truancy, justice involvement, teenage parenting or other significant barrier to success . Our student population comes from a historically underserved, low-income, black community. Our students have low academic aptitude (on average) specifically in math and reading comprehension. They also typically have a very small worldview, with little variance in experience.


• Rehabbed over 35 homes in the Metro East • Employed and training 125+ youth earning $300,000+ in wages from R3 • Inspired over 1000 youth through workforce development initiatives and training • Mobilized 1000s of volunteers to serve along R3 youth to better the East St. Louis community

Programs Offered

  • Careers Academy Youthbuild (Education focus)
  • Work Academy (Work-readiness focus)
  • 2nd Saturday (Servant-leadership & Responsibility focus)

Career Pathways

  • Construction (Carpentry & Solar Installation)
  • Real Estate Development & Property Maintenance

Success Story



Executive Director

Contact Info

R3 Development NFP
Address: P.O. Box 2197 East St. Louis, IL 62202
Office: [https://tel:6182151005](618) 215-1005
Email: dave@r3development.org
Website: R3Dev.org