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YouthBuild U.S.A.

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2001
2 pages
Publication Series
This fact sheet provides an overview of the YouthBuild U.S.A. program where young adults rebuild their communities and their own lives through a commitment to work, education, responsibility, and family.
There are 145 YouthBuild programs across the country helping youth learn construction skills by building or renovating housing in their community, as well as alternative schools where students earn their GED or high school diploma and participate in counseling and community service. This article offers a description of the YouthBuild U.S.A. program including: program history, program funding and operation, youth participation, job training, academic program, leadership development, and program outcome. The program began in 1988 as the YouthBuild Coalition, and in 1990 the YouthBuild U.S.A. was founded to coordinate the expanding network of YouthBuild sites. Community-based, independent organizations operate local YouthBuild programs and procure their own funding (a mix of Federal, State, and local support). Nationwide, about 6,000 young people, ages 16 to 24 participate in YouthBuild each year, approximately 70 percent male and 30 percent female. An average of 30 percent are adjudicated youth with some programs accepting participants through court-related referrals. YouthBuild prepares youth for work by providing education and training in construction skills, work habits, decision making skills, time management, career plans and handling job interviews. Participants develop leadership skills by being key decision makers within the program and providing community service. Since 1993, YouthBuild students have built more than 7,000 low-income housing units. On average, 60 percent of the students remain until they complete the program, and 85 percent of those go on to college or construction-related jobs.

Date Published: May 1, 2001