The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $1 million grant to the YouthBuild initiative targeting young adults in central Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee) recently announced.
YouthBuild is a nonresidential, community-based alternative education program that offers classroom instruction and occupational skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16-to-24, according to a news release. Many program participants have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care or have dropped out of high school.
The two-year grant will serve Milwaukee County, but is specifically aimed at teens and young adults in Milwaukee's near-north and near-south sides.
"At the very core, this grant gives young people with significant barriers to employment the opportunity for a bright future," Moore said in a press release. "The YouthBuild program is a truly impressive nonprofit and private sector collaboration having previously served more than 100 young people in the Milwaukee community. This new program will add close to 100 more opportunities for deserving youth."
Donald Sykes, MAWIB president and CEO, said the program's goal is to get participants into the work force so they will continue their education or career in the trades.
"We are thrilled to be awarded the YouthBuild grant because it gives young adults the opportunity to further their education, gain work experience and put them on the path toward post-secondary education," Sykes said in a written statement. "We place a high priority on participants graduating from high school or receiving their GED."
MilwaukeeBuilds is a partnership between the MAWIB, the Milwaukee Christian Center, Milwaukee Community Service Corps, Northcott Neighborhood House and the Wisconsin Regional Training Program/Building Group Skilled Trades Employment Program to run programs and prepare teens and young adults for careers and employment in the construction industry.
Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Inc. also received a $1.02 million Department of Labor grant last week to fund its YouthBuild program that will target youth unemployment in the city of Waukesha.