The Youthbuild Program provides specialized training for youth and young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are at risk for not completing their high school education.
Participants are trained in construction, career and work readiness, leadership and basic academic skills. They also receive mentoring, comprehensive safety training, and construction work experience.
Targeted participants include:
- High school dropouts and potential dropouts
- Youth at risk of involvement with the criminal justice system
- Youth with basic skill deficiencies
- Homeless and foster care youth
- Teen parents
- Immigrants and youth with limited English proficiency
- Youth from families that are low income and/or receiving public assistance
The education component of the program focuses on contextual basic skills with a problem-solving emphasis.
The work experience component provides youth with closely supervised training in basic carpentry and construction skills while participating in the construction or renovation of affordable housing or other structures.
The leadership component offers meaningful opportunities for youth to mentor peers and develop citizenship, decision making, and negotiating skills.
A unique requirement of the program design is that projects must result in: the expansion or improvement of residential units for homeless persons and low-income families and/or social service, educational, or health facilities that primarily serve these populations; or improvements to the energy-efficiency of structures or community gardens primarily serving these populations. Communities benefit from highly visible construction projects undertaken by the program.