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Building a Future: Interim Impact Findings from the YouthBuild Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
144 pages

This report presents the interim effects of the YouthBuild program, examining young people’s program participation, effects on education and training, and early effects on work and earnings.


This document provides an interim evaluation of the YouthBuild program, 2.5 years after the young people applied to YouthBuild. The evaluation used a random assignment design, in which eligible youth at participating programs around the U.S. were assigned either to a program group, invited to enroll in YouthBuild, or to a control group, provided information on other services in the community. Seventy-five programs were selected for the evaluation included a mix of those receiving funding from the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in 2011. The evaluation study occurred between August 2011 and January 2013, included 3,929 young people, and consisted of three components: a process study examining the operations of the YouthBuild programs, evaluating perceptions and experiences of the participants; an impact study that tracked the program and control groups for four years using survey data and administrative records; and finally, a cost-effectiveness study to estimate the costs of operating and running YouthBuild, compared with any positive gains that are achieved through the program. This report presents the interim findings, and longer-term findings will be presented in the final report. Findings from the interim study indicate the following: about 75 percent of the young people assigned to the program group participated in YouthBuild, and about half of those participants reported that they graduated from the program within 12 months; 87 percent of participants rated their experiences favorably, although some program components were rated more highly than others; YouthBuild increased participation in education and training, even though a high percentage of youth in the control group sought out and participated in education and training activities; YouthBuild increased GED receipt ant enrollment in two-year colleges; and YouthBuild increased participation in vocational training and led to a small increase in the receipt of training certificates.

Date Published: January 1, 2016