The federal government, via the U.S. Department of Labor, is dispersing $75.7 million in taxpayer-funded grants to offer high school dropouts vocational training in construction, healthcare, information technology, and other in-demand occupational fields. With about 5,000 people (ages 16 to 24) projected to benefit from the grants, YouthBuild, an alternative education program that assists high school dropouts in obtaining employment-related skills, will be distributing the funding.
“YouthBuild offers young people the opportunity to earn academic and industry-recognized credentials, practice the skills they’ll need to succeed at work, and experience what it means to contribute to their own success and that of their communities,” asserted Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. The Labor Department described the program in a recent press release:
The YouthBuild grants announced today are the first awarded under new program regulations published in February 2012, 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.
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