Nearly 5,000 at-risk young people across 28 states and the District of Columbia are expected to complete their high school education while gaining employable skills in construction, health care, information technology and other in-demand fields, as a result of $75.7 million in federal grants announced by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis this week.
The federal money will go to 74 programs run by YouthBuild USA, a nonprofit organization in Somerville, Mass., which works with young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are at risk of failing to meet critical milestones because of their involvement with the juvenile justice system, truancy or their placement within foster care.
These grants, ranging from $700,000 to $1.1 million each, mark the first time that YouthBuild has widened its skills training to include fields beyond construction, partly due to a change in program regulations released in February, according to the Department of Labor.
Solis referenced the grants during a public Twitter chat on Aug. 30, in response to a question about whether her department planned to fund any emerging industries.
“Yes, adding new sectors everyday like healthcare, hi-tech & adv. manufacturing. just expanded Youth Build funds yestrdy $75m,” Solis tweeted.
Last year, the department provided $75.8 million to 76 YouthBuild programs across 36 states and D.C.
A total of 127 YouthBuild programs, including the ones announced this week, are funded by the Labor Department. Find a map of all YouthBuild programs in the country here.
Photo from YouthBuild USA.