ENID, OK (KSWO) – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today the award of $80.3 million in YouthBuild grants to non-profit organizations in 35 states to help young people struggling to reach key educational and career milestones and to equip themselves to be successful in the workforce and engaged in their communities. Community Development Support Association, Inc. in Enid received $933,829.
YouthBuild is a community-based, alternative education program that provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth, ages 16-24. The grants announced today range from approximately $700,000 to $1.1 million each and will fund 77 YouthBuild programs.
"All young people are gifted and talented, and it is everyone's responsibility to help draw out those gifts and talents," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said. "YouthBuild provides young people with an important opportunity to gain the education and skills they need for good-paying jobs, while also helping them become more engaged members of their communities. That can mean everything to a young person who didn't get the easiest start in life."
The grants will help approximately 5,000 at-risk youth complete high school or state equivalency degree programs; earn industry-recognized certifications within in-demand occupations and gain construction skills training to build housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in their communities.
YouthBuild's mission aligns closely with the goals of President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative, which seeks to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color to ensure that all young people can realize their full potential.