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Local agencies get ‘YouthBuild’ federal funds

Three local agencies have landed grants from the U.S. Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program, which helps out-of-school youth get their diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the construction industry to build and renovate affordable housing within their communities.

The Youth Employment Partnership in Oakland gets $675,000; the City of Richmond Employment and Training Department gets $687,500; and the San Joaquin County Office of Education in Stockton gets $687,500. All of them seem to have received funding through this program at some point in the past.

Overall, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced about $114 million granted to 183 community groups this past weekend; that’s an initial increment for two years of grant operations, and more might be awarded if money becomes available. Of the 183, 62 were current YouthBuild grantees and 121 were new. The awards include about $47 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act economic-stimulus funding, although the Oakland, Richmond and Stockton projects received regular funding.

YouthBuild participants include those who have been in the juvenile justice system, youth aging out of foster care, high school dropouts and others. Besides getting academic and occupational skills training, they develop leadership skills and take part in community service opportunities. Many learn green building techniques by helping to retrofit existing homes, learning to make their communities sustainable and environmentally friendly. YouthBuild was transferred by Congress from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Labor Department in 2006, and it’s being revamped to include what the Labor Department describes as “a rigorous randomized control trial evaluation of the YouthBuild program to learn more about its impact on the disadvantaged youth it serves.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    “it’s being revamped to include what the Labor Department describes as “a rigorous randomized control trial evaluation of the YouthBuild program to learn more about its impact on the disadvantaged youth it serves.”

    Translated from the gobbledygook that means: “Here’s another way for lunatic liberals to pour money down a rathole.”