The U.S. Labor Department announced an award of $73,654,300 in YouthBuild grants to provide academic and occupational skills training for at-risk youth, including one program in Indiana. The programs are “non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to youth ages 16 to 24 who have been in the juvenile 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 classroom training component leads to a high school diploma, general education development or other state-recognized equivalency diploma. The occupational skills training component provides YouthBuild participants with industry-recognized certifications in construction or other in-demand occupations, such as health care and information technology. Leadership development and community service are also key elements of the YouthBuild program, helping to ensure that participants maintain a connection to their communities through public service and volunteerism.”
EmployIndy received $1.1 Million to continue the YouthBuild Indy program.
While there is much to be applauded with this grant, it is yet another benefit to those children and young adults who reside in Indianapolis, Marion County only. We must continue to strive to expand these types of programs so that all of our youth — no matter their geographic location — have the opportunity to benefit from programs that are government funded. The kids in the other 91 counties deserve a chance too.