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US Department of Labor announces $90M funding opportunity to support delivery of academic, skills training, employment services for young people

WASHINGTON To help remove academic and training barriers faced by young people, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced a $90 million funding opportunity in YouthBuild Program grants to support pre-apprenticeships in high-demand industries including construction, healthcare, information technology and hospitality.

Grants will support occupational skills training, employment services and educational guidance to disadvantaged young people, from ages 16 to 24, in communities where barriers to basic academic and career skills development exist. 

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, and supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the grants will fund approximately 75 projects nationwide with individual grants ranging from $700,000 to $1.5 million. The funding opportunity follows the department’s 2021 guidance that prioritizes quality jobs, green building and community violence intervention.

In August 2022, the department added the YouthBuild program to the Biden-Harris administration’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to ensure that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are overburdened by pollution.

YouthBuild grants have enabled program participants to support initiatives in construction, technology and the care economy such as the following:

  • In Madison, Wisconsin, Operation Fresh Start provides mental health counseling to all YouthBuild program participants. Through a partnership with the metropolitan school district, participants are also eligible to earn a high school diploma. OFS provides workplace skills training in construction and forestry, career counseling and a stipend for living expenses while in the program. Upon completion, participants also earn an AmeriCorps education award.
  • North Brooklyn YouthBuild in New York offers training in construction and healthcare with a range of credentials available to participants. Participants in the construction pathway build three affordable housing units for the community and earn certifications in green construction and other programs.
  • Bi-County Community Action Programs, Inc. serves a rural community in Bemidji, Minnesota. By partnering with entities such as Evergreen Youth and Family Services, the local juvenile justice system, and Bemidji State University, BI-CAP provides individual instruction so participants work at their own pace to achieve competencies.
  • In Denver, Mile High Youth Corps trains youth to earn the Home Builders Institute’s Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training Core Curriculum certification and PACT Green Building certification. Through a partnership with the Community College of Denver, MHYC’s Health & Wellness track prepares young people for careers in the nursing industry.

Learn more about grant eligibility and apply.

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