The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of approximately $73 million in YouthBuild grant funds to develop programs that will help out-of-school youth complete high school or General Educational Development programs, as well as learn critical occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology and other in-demand fields.
“Too many of our young men and women face challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The YouthBuild program helps them overcome these challenges by providing participants with the resources they need to develop the life and job skills that lead to a place in the middle class.”
The department will award approximately 75 grants with a maximum funding of up to $1.1 million each. The grants will be awarded to organizations that oversee education and employment services for disadvantaged youths in their communities. The department anticipates serving approximately 4,950 young people in this grant cycle.
YouthBuild serves as an alternative education program that provides classroom instruction, case managers and occupational skills training for 16- to 24-year-olds at risk of falling out of the labor force. Participants are often those who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, dropped out of high school or are at risk of failing to reach key educational milestones.
Successful grantees have historically provided construction skills training to participating students and must continue to offer that training. However, new guidelines issued in February 2012 expanded the list of eligible industries that grantees are allowed to offer skills training opportunities for to include training in high-demand occupations, such as health care and information technology. Students in YouthBuild also receive leadership development training and access to community service activities to ensure that they maintain a connection to their communities through volunteerism.
The solicitation for grant applications, which includes information about how to apply for a grant, is available online.