U.S. Department of Labor: YouthBuild
The purpose of the YouthBuild program is to fund organizations to provide a pre-apprenticeship program model that encompasses education, occupational skills training, leadership development, and high-quality post-program placement opportunities to opportunity youth. YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who left high school prior to graduation that also have other risk factors, including being an adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, migrant farmworker youth, youth experiencing housing instability, and other disadvantaged 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. YouthBuild programs serve as the connection point to vital services for participants. The YouthBuild program model contains wrap-around services such as mentoring, trauma-informed care, personal counseling, and employment – all key strategies for addressing community gun violence. In addition to construction skills training, YouthBuild applicants may include occupational skills training in other in-demand industries.
The YouthBuild model balances project-based academic learning and occupational skills training to prepare opportunity 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 opportunity 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.
Key aspects of the YouthBuild service delivery model include meaningful partnership and collaboration with the public workforce development system, education and human services systems, and labor and industry partners. Applicants are expected to have well-established partnerships in place prior to grant award.
Pre-apprenticeship means a program designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in an apprenticeship program registered under the National Apprenticeship Act, and includes the following elements:
1) Training and curriculum that aligns with the skill needs of employers in the economy of the state or region involved;
2) Access to educational and career counseling and other supportive services, directly or indirectly;
3) 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;
4) Opportunities to attain at least one industry-recognized credential; and
5) A partnership with one or more registered apprenticeship program that assists in placing individuals who complete the pre-apprenticeship program in a registered apprenticeship program. See solicitation for details.
YouthBuild programs are required to partner with American Job Centers, also known as one-stop career centers. All YouthBuild programs must adhere to the requirements of being a one-stop partner. Applicants for the YouthBuild program should initiate the one-stop partnership conversation with their local Workforce Development Board prior to submitting their grant application to ensure the budget reflects likely infrastructure sharing costs, shared staffing, and other beneficial partnerships that are part of the grant model. The Department strongly emphasizes the role of employers in successful workforce development strategies, and requires grantees to report on their effectiveness in serving employers.
As one of the goals of the YouthBuild program is to provide affordable housing, all DOL-funded YouthBuild programs must offer construction skills training. See solicitation for details.
Amount: $90,000,000 is available to make 75 awards that range from $700,000 to $1.5 million over 40 months. The Department intends to award at least 50% of the total available funding to applicants previously funded by the YouthBuild program and which have demonstrated success in the program.
Note: There is a 25% match requirement. However, there is a matching waiver for Tribal entities which does not require these entities to provide a match.
Eligibility: Eligible applicants are public or private non-profit agencies, including rural, urban, or Native American/Tribal entities that have previously served opportunity youth in a YouthBuild or other similar program.
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