YouthBuild Preparatory Academy Receives $1.1 Million Grant from U.S. Department of Labor

Aug 24, 2017 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Education, Housing, Rhode Island

U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline joined Anthony Hubbard, Executive Director of YouthBuild Preparatory Academy, in announcing a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to provide educational opportunities and career development skills for at-risk Rhode Island students. This is part of an $80 million round of pre-apprenticeship grants awarded by DOL to 77 YouthBuild programs nationwide.

YouthBuild Preparatory Academy provides vocational training and academic opportunities for students who have left high school without a diploma. The program helps students earn their high school diploma or GED, earn college credits, and learn career readiness skills through hands-on experience and neighborhood construction projects, while building affordable housing and other community assets in their neighborhoods and engaging in community service.

“YouthBuild’s proven programs help young people further their education and learn new job skills while giving back to the community. YouthBuild makes a real difference for young people and strengthens Rhode Island’s workforce. This federal investment will help YouthBuild Preparatory Academy expand its reach,” said Senator Reed, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds YouthBuild. “I am pleased to help deliver this federal funding for Rhode Island and will continue working to reverse President Trump’s proposed budget, which would cut over $11 billion in federal funding from education, job training, and national programs aimed at giving Americans real opportunities to improve their lives.”

“Apprenticeships can set workers on a course for long careers in good-paying jobs,” said Senator Whitehouse. “This funding will help young people in Providence contribute to their communities while building the skills and knowledge to jumpstart their careers.”

“All young people should have the opportunity to receive a quality education and pursue a successful career regardless of their socioeconomic status, and YouthBuild provides that opportunity and empowers at-risk students to succeed despite the challenges they’ve faced,” said Congressman Langevin. “This $1.1 million grant will help YouthBuild continue to help at-risk youth develop skills to compete in today’s job market while also benefitting the community through construction projects. Congratulations to YouthBuild Preparatory Academy on this exciting grant award.”

“YouthBuild is a critical partner for ensuring young Rhode Islanders have the skills they need to get a good-paying job,” said Congressman Cicilline. “I’m proud that we are bringing this funding back to Rhode Island.”

“This is our first YouthBuild grant as an independent nonprofit organization which makes this opportunity even more meaningful. We will strive to serve our young people well while protecting the investment and the YouthBuild name,” said Hubbard. “The investment from DOL shows their commitment to increasing the job opportunities for our youth; YouthBuild Prep would like to thank all of our partners for helping make YouthBuild a success.”

YouthBuild Preparatory Academy uses federal funding to leverage private matching resources and helps students build more affordable housing for the community while at the same time building character, responsibility, and brighter futures for themselves. This grant will provide academic and workforce training opportunities over a two-year period, with a third year of graduate follow-up services, to 66 young individuals, ages 16 to 24, who have disconnected from the traditional education system. Each participant will receive job training in construction, leading to an industry-recognized certification and have the opportunity to earn a high school diploma.

YouthBuild Preparatory Academy is an affiliate of YouthBuild USA, a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income youth receive career-ready skills and become involved in their communities through construction projects. It is one of the longest-running YouthBuild programs in the country, having started in 1997. To date, more than 600 students have helped build 25 affordable housing units.