Giving Youth the Chance to Succeed

Today the Employment and Training Administration made $75 million in grants available for the YouthBuild program. If you represent a public or private nonprofit organization with experience serving at-risk youth in YouthBuild or other similar programs, I encourage you to apply for a grant. YouthBuild is an effective program for helping young people get good jobs and stay out of poverty, and I want to share why.

But first, let me describe for you the “typical” YouthBuild student: He (or she) may have gone through the juvenile justice system. He may have dropped out of school. He may have aged out of foster care and, in the absence of guidance, is now facing an uncertain future. He may be lacking self-confidence, and important life skills such as time management or working on a team.

YouthBuild provides young people who’ve experienced multiple barriers to success with a leg up − not a hand out. Students receive a well-rounded education. In addition to classroom instruction that will lead to a high school diploma or GED certificate, they also gain real-world work experience, industry-recognized credentials that lead to good wages, and important leadership skills that employers look for in job candidates. That last piece is critical: the valuable life skills students learn make them real leaders in their communities, and are useful in all occupations.

I believe that investing in our young people will pay for itself many times over by making our workforce, and our economy, stronger. Because of changing workforce needs, new YouthBuild regulations have expanded training options beyond construction to growing fields such as health care and information technology. At the same time, construction remains a critical component of the program and continues to lead students, like Ciera Russum, into a variety of specialized career paths.

More than 100,000 students have graduated from YouthBuild to date. With good jobs and important skills, they have a new shot at enjoying the lives they want. We are looking for a few good service providers to help more young people share in this success.

To learn more about the grants, including eligibility requirements, visit today.

Jane Oates is the assistant secretary of labor for employment and training.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Richard Couder says:

    My name is Richard Couder. I am in charge of a large organization make with people with disabilities. One of the biggest barriers this population faces is employment. Is there programs like Youth Builder for our population. Most of my members are adults and unemployed. I would like to open a business to hire them. Is there any grants for people with disabilities that you can recommend. My telephone is (xxx) xxx-xxxx (phone number removed). I would appreciate your help.

  2. This is a great article and very true – here in Europe I’ve worked with young people who had tough starts in life – drop outs and the like. Our community organized an outreach program that included sending them on team building and activities trips, in addition to hands on and vocational training. I believe it has been very successful!

  3. Clevester Hines says:

    Good morning. I am interested in finding out more about YouthBuild. Is there a point of contact that can assist me further?

    Thank you

  4. Fantastic!This is a great news for the families. This program provides opportunities for young individual to develop themselves not only physically but intellectually as well. I’m very happy to hear that there are programs that exists such as this. And that they are guiding the young individuals for them to have a great future. This program sure does help decrease the incidence of young people to engage in self-destructive practices like drug abuse/addiction. And most of all, this program is not only helping young people to enhance their capacity but they are also giving honor to their country for such a great results.

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