Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced yesterday, the availability of approximately $75 million in YouthBuild grant funds to develop programs that will help out-of-school youths complete high school or General Educational Development programs, as well as learn critical occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology and other fields.
“The YouthBuild programs open doors for thousands of at-risk youths in at least two ways. They are provided with an opportunity to develop job skills for successful careers, and they learn the importance of leadership and making contributions to strengthen communities,” Secretary Solis said.
The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates serving more than 5,200 young people through 75 grants, ranging from $700,000 to $1.1 million each, to be awarded to organizations that oversee education and employment services for disadvantaged youths in their communities. YouthBuild is a nonresidential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to 16- to 24-year-olds at risk of falling out of the labor force. Enrollees have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, dropped out of high school or are at risk of failing to reach key educational milestones. Participants in YouthBuild programs learn valuable skills as they build or rehabilitate housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in their communities. Regulations issued in February 2012 expanded YouthBuild skills training beyond construction to include training in high-demand occupations, such as health care and information technology. Non-construction skills training programs also must include leadership development and community service elements to ensure that youths maintain a connection to their communities through volunteerism.
The solicitation for grant applications, which includes information about how to apply for a grant, will be published in the Jan. 22 edition of the Federal Register. It is available to view now at http://www.grants.gov. For more information on YouthBuild and other youth employment programs, visit http://www.doleta.gov/youth_services.