Tacoma Goodwill YouthBuild program receives $1.1M

Tacoma Goodwill will continue a program providing at-risk young adults with instruction to pass a high school equivalency test and experience in the construction trade.

YouthBuild will receive $1.1 million from the federal Department of Labor, it was announced Tuesday. The Tacoma Goodwill program was among seven agencies across the state receiving funding, according to an announcement from Sen. Patty Murray’s office.

“Young people have been among the hardest hit in this economic recession, so it’s more important than ever that we make the right investments to make sure they have the skills and education they need to succeed in the workplace and throughout their lives,” said Sen. Murray in a prepared announcement available on her Web site.

Tacoma Goodwill President & CEO Terry A. Hayes was elated with the announcement. “We thank Sen. Murray and the federal Department of Labor for supporting Goodwill’s mission and helping people go to work,” said Hayes. Murray noted the unemployment rate in April for young adults between ages 16 and 19 was 24.9 percent.

Since Tacoma Goodwill started its YouthBuild program in 2006, there have been more than 350 participants in the partnership with Bates Technical College. The youths have provided nearly about 30,000 hours toward construction of homes in Pierce County and other projects, including more than 30 rehabilitation projects.