Tacoma Goodwill awarded $1.1M federal YouthBuild grant

U.S. Department of Labor officials announced Thursday they will award a $1.1 million grant to Tacoma Goodwill to support academic and occupational skill training for at-risk youth as part of its YouthBuild Program.

Community Youth Services in Olympia, Opportunities Industrialization Center of Washington in Yakima, and NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101 in Spokane will also receive $1.1 million grants.

In total, nearly $72 million in grants ranging from approximately $600,000 to $1.1 million were awarded to 68 YouthBuild programs in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The program aims to help nearly 4,600 young people obtain the certifications and skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Along with the programs funded today, the Labor Department now actively funds 247 YouthBuild programs around the country.

“This is fantastic news for YouthBuild Programs in Washington state,” said U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). “These innovative programs give at-risk youth a chance to get real, on-the-job skills training, while completing their high school education.”

YouthBuild is a nonresidential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16 to 24. The classroom training 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 occupations. The construction skills training component teaches skills through a program to build or rehabilitate housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in their communities.

More information is available online here.

In 2006, Tacoma resident Darren Lewis participated in Tacoma Goodwill's YouthBuild Program, which helps young people achieve educational goals and acquire job skills. (PHOTO COURTESY TACOMA GOODWILL)