U.S. Department of Labor: YouthBuild
The YouthBuild program will fund organizations to provide a pre-apprenticeship program model that encompasses education, occupational skills training, leadership development, and post-program placement opportunities to at-risk youth. 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, migrant farmworker youth, and other disconnected youth populations. The YouthBuild program simultaneously addresses multiple core issues important to youth in low-income communities: affordable housing, leadership development, education, and employment opportunities in in-demand industries and apprenticeship pathways. 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 in obtaining a high school diploma or State high school equivalency credential. The occupational skills training component prepares at-risk youth for apprenticeship and other career pathways and/or further education or training. It 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.
Career Pathways are a key strategy to increase employment opportunities, including through the use of apprenticeships. YouthBuild programs are recognized as pre-apprenticeship programs. Grantees are expected to develop program models that align with pre-apprenticeship and include the following elements:
- Training and curriculum that aligns with the skill needs of employers in the economy of the State or region involved
- Access to educational and career counseling and other supportive services, directly or indirectly
- Hands-on, meaningful learning activities that are connected to education and training activities, such as exploring career options, and understanding how the skills acquired through coursework can be applied toward a future career
- Opportunities to attain at least one industry-recognized credential
- A partnership with one or more registered apprenticeship programs that assists in placing individuals who complete the pre-apprenticeship program in a registered apprenticeship program
Grantees should be actively developing the connection points described above to develop relationships and pathways that lead to employment and placements in registered and industry-certified apprenticeships. To support this career pathway focus, all YouthBuild applicants are encouraged to develop program proposals that include occupational skills training in other in-demand industries in addition to construction skills training. This expansion into additional in-demand industries is referred to in YouthBuild as the Construction Plus component. Construction Plus is offered in recognition that YouthBuild participants pursue fields beyond construction after exiting the program. The Construction Plus component creates an expanded opportunity for training in in-demand fields that benefits participants and local employers.
Amount: Approximately $85,000,000 is available to make up to 70 awards ranging from $700,000 to $1,500,000 for a period of performance of 40 months.
Eligibility: Private non-profit or public agencies. These organizations include rural, urban, or Native American agencies that have previously served disadvantaged youth in a YouthBuild or other similar program.
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