U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1.1 million in federal funding for the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO) for the Greater Capital Region YouthBuild program in Troy to help disadvantaged young adults earn degrees and build job experience. The funding is authorized by the Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program, aimed to support academic and occupational skills training for at-risk youth.
“This federal funding will help the Commission on Economic Opportunity for the Greater Capital Region continue its great work by giving many young adults the opportunity to earn their GED, accrue real construction-related job experience and make a better life for themselves,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased that the Department of Labor has recognized the importance of the Commission on Economic Opportunity for the Greater Capital Region’s YouthBuild program and look forward to hearing about its many successes.”
“This funding is great news for the Commission on Economic Opportunity’s YouthBuild program, which creates opportunities for young adults throughout the Capital Region to gain the skills they need to get good jobs,” said Senator Gillibrand. “YouthBuild has a proven track record of providing at-risk students with invaluable job experience, skill development, and mentoring that they may not otherwise have access to. I was proud to lead the push in the Senate to fund YouthBuild so that young adults throughout New York State can get the skills they need to enter the workforce.”
“CEO is thrilled to receive the Youth Build grant and continue to serve the young adult population in our community as they overcome incredible barriers to achieve success in their lives. Over the next three years, we will be collaborating with the SEAT Center in Schenectady to provide educational, vocational, and the support the youth need to reach their fullest potential. CEO has provided Youth Build to our community since 1993. Our new grant will allow us to continue to provide this amazing program,” said Katherine Maciol, President and CEO of the Commission on Economic Opportunity.
The Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program is a community-based education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills to individuals 16 to 24 years old who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school, or are at risk of failing to reach key education and career milestones.
Schumer and Gillibrand have long fought to secure funding for YouthBuild. Last April, Senator Gillibrand led a bipartisan push with 45 of her colleagues requesting funds for YouthBuild during Fiscal Year 2019. It is estimated that there are more than 3 million youth in the United States who are disconnected, low-income, and without a high school diploma. Funding for DOL’s YouthBuild Program would help more disconnected youth benefit from these critical job training and educational services.