Labor Department Funds Additional YouthBuild Projects

On July 21, the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced the awarding of nearly $9 million to 11 groups that will provide skills-based education in construction to at-risk young people in 10 states and the District of Columbia through the department's YouthBuild program.

"These grants will provide at-risk youth with skills training, jobs and support to earn a high school diploma or a GED so that they can get on a path to success," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

YouthBuild is an alternative education program that offers young people training and practical experience for construction industry careers. The program draws participants through employment in home construction and rehabilitation projects in their communities. YouthBuild participants also earn high school diplomas or GEDs through the program. Participants include young people who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, are high school dropouts, and are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational milestones and opportunities that lead to career fulfillment.

"Young people involved in YouthBuild not only learn the technical skills needed to enter construction careers, but earn the dignity and respect that comes with making positive changes in their communities," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Brent R. Orrell.

Awardees will serve young people in: California, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York state, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Based on their proposals, two-year award amounts range from $455,734 to $1 million.

Congress transferred YouthBuild from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the U.S. Department of Labor in 2006. In spring 2007, the Labor Department announced its first YouthBuild competition, and it made awards to 96 projects that fall. Projects were chosen from among applicants that were deemed competitive but did not initially receive funding. The Department of Labor plans to hold a second YouthBuild competition this fall.

For more information on YouthBuild, and other youth employment and training programs, visit www.doleta.gov/youth_services.

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