U.S. Department of Labor: YouthBuild
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, homeless youth, and other disadvantaged youth populations. The YouthBuild program simultaneously addresses several core issues important to low-income communities: affordable housing, education, employment, leadership development, and energy efficiency. The YouthBuild model balances project-based academic learning and occupational skills training to prepare disadvantaged youth for career placement. The academic component assists youth who are often significantly behind in basic skill development 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 sale or rent to low-income families or transitional housing for homeless families or individuals.
Additionally, grantees that have been previously funded by the Department may include occupational skills training in other in-demand industries in addition to construction skills training. This expansion into additional in-demand industries is the “Construction Plus” component. YouthBuild programs are now required partners of the One-Stop Career Centers. All YouthBuild programs must adhere to the requirements of being a One-Stop partner. Partnering with One-Stop Career Centers provides an opportunity for YouthBuild grantees to increase the number of eligible applicants, have greater access to local employers, and develop the ability to directly access information regarding changes to local workforce needs and respond with program changes accordingly.
All YouthBuild grant programs must offer construction skills training. New applicants for funding must demonstrate success with core construction skills training and are not eligible to offer other occupational 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.
All applicants must demonstrate their commitment to increasing the supply of permanent housing for homeless and/or low-income individuals and families. Grantees must have 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 work site to use for on-site construction training. The construction work sites built and renovated by YouthBuild participants must only be constructed for homeless and/or low-income individuals and families to reside in.
Amount: $80,000,000 is available to award approximately 80 grants, ranging from $700,000 to $1,100,00 each for a period of four years. A 25 percent match is required.
Eligibility: 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. These agencies or organizations include, but are not limited to: a community-based organization; a faith-based organization; an entity carrying out activities under the WIOA, such as a local workforce development board; a community action agency; a state or local housing development agency; an Indian tribe or other agency primarily serving Native Americans, including those living on reservations; a community development corporation; a state or local youth service or conservation corps; any other entity eligible to provide education or employment training under a federal program; or an entity in an area designated as a Promise Zone or member of a Promise Zone collaboration, if applicable.
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