U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-Md.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will award a $1.1 million grant to Civic Works in Baltimore to provide educational programming and hands-on job skills training for at-risk youth to prepare them for jobs today and jobs tomorrow. The grant is provided by the DOL's YouthBuild program, which helps out-of school youth aged 16-24 earn a GED or high school diploma while learning critical occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology and other fields.
"Education and professional job training are important rungs on the American opportunity ladder," said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, which puts funds in the federal checkbook for the U.S. Department of Labor. "These funds in the federal checkbook will help prepare at-risk youth with the tools they need to succeed in the workforce, keeping them off the streets and on the job. This is smart funding that will help make our communities safer and our economy stronger."
"This money will allow Civic Works in Baltimore to make a real impact in our community on many levels," said Senator Cardin. "Grants like this are investments in our future, through job training and education we not only ensure that our youth do not stray down the wrong path, we also give them the tools they need to succeed."
Baltimore's Civic Works is one of 74 YouthBuild programs supported in 28 states and the District of Columbia. Grants for these programs range from $700,000 to $1.1 million each. They will help nearly 5,000 young people obtain the certifications and skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Many participants have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school, or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational milestones and opportunities that lead to career fulfillment.
The Civic Works grant is awarded under new program regulations which expand occupational skills training beyond construction to include fast-growing industries such as health care and information technology. The construction skills training programs funded teach valuable skills to participants who build or rehabilitate housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in their communities. The non-construction skills training programs funded include leadership development and community service elements to ensure that youth maintain a connection to their communities through service and volunteerism.