LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A $1.5 million expansion will soon allow a local non-profit to double the number of people they can help.

Mayor Greg Fischer and Congressman John Yarmuth were among those on hand to help break ground on an expansion of YouthBuild.

The new facilities in the Smoketown neighborhood will house workforce development training rooms, an expanded kitchen and a job center.

The non-profit provides education, job training and leadership programs to young people ages 16 to 24.

People like James Hooten, who spent years tangled up with drugs and jail time before becoming part of the program, says YouthBuild changed his life

"They guided and enlightened me to the strength and potential that my future held for the first time in my life. The sense of family and unconditional support they have provided to me over the past nine years have given me the confidence and success to believe in myself,” Hooten said.

The YouthBuild expansion is expected to be completed in January 2018.