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Sep
2016
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With Building Trades Unions as Partners, Bridgeport to Capitalize on USDOL’s YouthBuild Grant

YouthBuild, which has long provided opportunities for kids, received a new round of USDOL grants this month

YouthBuild, which has long provided opportunities for kids, received a new round of USDOL grants this month


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An employment agency in Bridgeport, Connecticut called The WorkPlace has received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) for a YouthBuild program. The program offers education, counseling, and job skills to people between the ages of 16 and 24 who are unemployed. It was created by the USDOL in the early 1990s and features a partnership with multiple building trades unions:

YouthBuild Bridgeport will serve 65 at-risk youth over 27 months beginning Oct. 1. During that time, participants will learn academic skills through classroom and online contextual learning via a tablet computer supplied by the program as a means of earning a high school diploma or GED; learn occupational skills in carpentry, electrical, or HVAC; complete construction-related community service projects for local agencies, such as building wheelchair ramps for disabled veterans; complete construction of at least two units of low-income housing in Bridgeport; and develop a career plan and receive leadership training that includes participation with community leaders in a Policy Council.

The WorkPlace, which partners with Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 777, Carpenters Local 210, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 488, and Laborers local 665, also received a YouthBuild grant in 2007. The grants are part of a broader USDOL funding effort, providing similar sums in places like Gulfport, Mississippi and Mt. Vernon, Illinois:

“It’s a great opportunity for people to get real marketable skills,” said UMCH CEO John Shadowens.

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