Department of Labor: Youth BuildDeadline: April 22, 2014
YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, and other disadvantaged youth populations. The YouthBuild program simultaneously addresses several core issues facing low-income communities: affordable housing, education, employment, and leadership development. The YouthBuild model balances project-based learning and occupational skills training that prepare disadvantaged youth for career placement. The academic component is an alternative education program that assists youth who are often significantly behind in basic skills to obtain a high school diploma or state high school equivalency credential. The occupational skills training component prepares at-risk youth to gain placement into career pathways and/or further education or training, and also supports the goal of increasing affordable housing within communities by teaching youth construction skills learned by building or significantly renovating homes for low-income or homeless families or individuals. Occupational skills training also may include other demand industries in addition to construction skills training for grantees that have been previously funded by the Department. This expansion into additional demand industries is the “Construction Plus” component. In order to preserve one of the core aspects of the YouthBuild program as a construction skills training program, all YouthBuild grant programs must offer construction skills training. New applicants for DOL funding must demonstrate success with core construction skills training and are not eligible to offer other vocational training as first-time YouthBuild grantees. Construction skills training is central to the overall philosophy of the YouthBuild program and can provide a visible transformational experience for young people who have rarely had opportunities to see tangible and positive results from their efforts.
Because one of the goals of the YouthBuild program is to provide affordable housing, all prospective applicants must demonstrate their commitment to the goal of increasing the supply of permanent housing for homeless and/or low-income individuals and families. YouthBuild grantees must accomplish this goal by having a sufficient number of youth enrolled in and completing the construction skills training component to enable the program to build or substantially renovate at least one unit of housing within the grant period of performance. Each program must also have access to a worksite to use for on-site construction training. All newly built or renovated units of housing must be utilized by homeless and/or low-income individuals and families.
Eligibility: Eligible applicants for these grants are public or private non-profit agencies or organizations including rural, urban, or Native American agencies that have previously served disadvantaged youth in a YouthBuild or other similar program.
Amount: Funding will be provided in the form of a grant. Under this competition, the Department intends to fund approximately 73 grants with a ceiling amount of $1.1 million each from the FY 2014 appropriation. Up to 30 percent of the total available funding for this competition for the award of grants to eligible applicants that have not previously received a DOL YouthBuild grant or have not substantially completed performance on their initial DOL-funded grant award.