Department of Labor Awards $17 million for High Risk Young Adult Workforce Development

This is great news for our Youthbuild organizations! However, we have a ways to go as there are hundreds of thousands of young men and women coming of age in this era with a severe lack of job readiness, life skills and personal financial management. On a grassroots level, we as communities should take more ownership of this issue by fostering internship/service programs as a mandatory requirement/curriculum to graduation, mentoring programs in our neighborhoods & business community, workshops/support for our parents so that they know how to better support/handle their teens as they grow older. While we’re at it, take a look at what the United Teen Equality Center is doing right here in Lowell in education and workforce development. They are but one organization. It takes a village!

US Department of Labor announces $17 million in grants to prepare high-risk young adults in underserved communities for employment

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today announced grants totaling $17 million to two organizations that are providing meaningful job training and other employment preparation to at-risk individuals ages 18-24.

“The grants announced today will directly support underserved young adults looking to improve their lives and join the workforce,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This is an investment not only in these young people, but also in their families and communities.”

A majority of the young people participating in the programs being funded are high school dropouts and/or have spent time in juvenile justice facilities. Programs will place a high priority on helping former offenders returning to their communities to obtain high school diplomas and/or industry-recognized credentials. Additionally, the grantees will focus on putting participants to work.

Grants were awarded through a competitive process open to national and regional intermediaries with experience conducting multi-site projects that have demonstrated success with formerly incarcerated young adults.

The department awarded YouthBuild USA, based in Somerville, Mass., and the Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth and Family Services, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., $8.5 million each. YouthBuild USA will assist more than 550 individuals in nine high-poverty, high-crime communities. The Mid-Atlantic Network of Youth and Family Services will assist approximately 900 individuals in five such communities. The programs will operate in multiple states.

Today’s awards were made available through fiscal year 2010 Department of Labor appropriations. For more information on the Department of Labor’s range of employment and training programs, visit


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