MHYC Receives Three Year Department of Labor Grant for YouthBuild

Mile High Youth Corps is thrilled to announce that our YouthBuild program received nearly $1 million in funding today from the U.S. Department of Labor to help fund our program for the next three years!

MHYC’s YouthBuild program began in 2003 and since then has helped educate hundreds of young people in the Denver area, while also helping build hundreds of units of low-income housing. For more information, read the Department of labor press release below.

News Release

New YouthBuild grants expand second chances for at-risk youth
in 31 states and the District of Columbia

Seventy-two grants awarded totaling nearly $76M

WASHINGTON — Last month, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez met a young Camden man named Donny during a visit to New Jersey to tour the facilities of YouthBuild Camden. Before YouthBuild, Donny felt he was on the wrong path and headed toward a life on the streets.

Like other young people, Donny came to YouthBuild at first to earn his GED. Instead, he told Secretary Perez, the program helped him find his courage, self-confidence, motivation, and personal strength. Donny now works at the Housing Authority of the City of Camden and doing maintenance work on the side, hoping to lead to a full time job there.

Today, the department announced the award of nearly $76 million in YouthBuild grants to support additional academic and occupational skills training for at-risk youth like Donny. The grants range from approximately $700,000 to $1.1 million each and will fund 72 YouthBuild programs in 31 states, the District of Columbia and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Nation. Of the recipients in this award, 22 eligible applicants that have not previously received a YouthBuild grant were selected this year.

YouthBuild is a non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training in construction and other in-demand occupations. The program serves 16-to-24 year-olds who have dropped out of high school and who have been in the justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school, or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational and career milestones. The grants will serve an estimated 4,800 participants in the next three years.

“Success should never be determined by where a person starts in life,” Secretary Perez said. “YouthBuild equips young people with the tools they need to realize their potential and the job skills they need to climb career ladders and punch their tickets to the middle class. Closing opportunity gaps for America’s young people is a matter of basic fairness and critical to our ability to compete in the global economy.”

Today’s announcement marks the first round of YouthBuild grants awarded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The law, which became effective on July 1, 2015, led to several changes to YouthBuild. These changes include putting greater focus on improving the quality and energy efficiency of buildings serving low-income and homeless individuals and families; expanding the eligibility to include youth who have dropped out of high school but subsequently reenrolled; and supporting further program alignment with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

YouthBuild’s mission aligns closely with the goals of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, which seeks to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can realize their full potential.

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