Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $782,502 in funding for the Commission on Economic Opportunity’s (CEO) YouthBuild program in Troy. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and will be used to provide 48 youth with critical job training and educational programs. Senator Gillibrand has been an active leader in advocating for youth educational and job training programs and secured the YouthBuild authorization in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which reauthorized federal job training programs. In April, Senator Gillibrand led a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee along with 31of her colleagues, requesting $102.5 million in funding for YouthBuild for Fiscal Year 2015. According to MDRC, there are more than 3 million youth in the United States who are disconnected, low-income and without a high school diploma. In New York State, YouthBuild has 17 chapters and YouthBuild’s DOL funded centers have served 2,259 students since 2007.
“I have seen first-hand that YouthBuild works,” said Senator Gillibrand. “YouthBuild gives thousands of teens and young adults across New York and the country the resources and tools they need to succeed. I am pleased the YouthBuild program in Rensselaer County will get this funding to carry out such a vital program for our youth. I will continue to advocate for YouthBuild and ensure our youth get the right resources they need to succeed.”
“We are so grateful and excited to continue our effective YouthBuild program with this new round of DOL funding,” says Katherine Maciol, President of CEO, Commission on Economic Opportunity. “Over two years, we will serve 48 local youth, helping them become leaders in our community, empowering them with the education and job skills necessary to succeed. The YouthBuild program is a highlight in our comprehensive range of community service offerings, and we plan to support its expansion by constructing new classrooms and training spaces within our up-and-coming Fifth Avenue Training Center.”
CEO is the Community Action Agency for Rensselaer County. CEO’s mission is “to preserve and advance the self-sufficiency, well-being, and growth of individuals, children and families through education, guidance, and resources.” Their programs empower individuals and families to build self-sufficiency in all life areas and rise out of poverty. CEO is part of a nationwide network of over 1,100 Community Action Agencies established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, to fight America’s War on Poverty.
YouthBuild has been in existence since 1992 and is operated by the U.S. Department of Labor. They provide job training and educational programs to low-income youth between the ages of 16 to 24, who have not graduated from high school or received an equivalent degree. Program participants are engaged in year-long, education and job training courses with a focus on training in the construction and carpentry fields. Counseling, mentoring and leadership development programs are also offered to participants. Nationwide, they serve more than 130,000 students in 46 states and have built more than 28,000 affordable housing units for homeless and low-income individuals.