WASHINGTON – The US Department of Labor today announced the award of nearly $90.4 million in YouthBuild grants to prepare young adults not enrolled in school or participating in the labor market for jobs in construction and other in-demand industries through apprenticeship and other career pathways, especially jobs that support clean energy technologies.

Following its Nov. 23, 2021 announcement of available funding, the department awarded 68 grants – ranging from $700,000 to $1.5 million – to organizations in 28 states and Puerto Rico to deliver job training and employment services. Participants will engage in classroom learning that will prepare them for work-based learning opportunities building and rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in their communities.

Participants will split their time between workplace training and the classroom, where they will earn a high school diploma or equivalent degree to prepare for postsecondary opportunities.

Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, the latest YouthBuild grants complement the Biden-Harris administration’s workforce priorities to advance equitable career pathway opportunities, quality jobs and climate sustainability by supporting programs that provide construction skills focused on green building techniques, including understanding sustainable building materials, solar panel installation, weatherization processes and the use of Energy Star appliances. These announcements will also further the President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative that commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.

For the first time, the YouthBuild funding opportunity announcement included criteria that awarded bonus points for applicants that demonstrated their ability to provide training in green construction techniques, training the next generation of workers for resilience and clean energy careers of the future.

YouthBuild programs also train young people for employment in healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and logistics, culinary arts and hospitality.

Learn more about the YouthBuild program.

The list of YouthBuild grant recipients follows this release.

Recipient City State Amount

Bessemer Housing Authority Bessemer AL $1,500,000

Housing Authority of Birmingham District Birmingham AL $1,500,000

Cornerstone Revitalization Foundation Inc Birmingham AL $1,259,237

Huntsville Housing Authority Huntsville AL $1,500,000

Alliance for Community Empowerment Canoga Park CA $1,332,000

EntreNous Youth Empowerment Services Inc. Compton CA $1,500,000

Coalition for Responsible Community Development Los Angeles CA $1,500,000

Volunteers of America of Los Angeles Los Angeles CA $1,425,519

City of Richmond Richmond CA $1,199,000

Year One Inc Denver CO $1,114,987

Wilmington Housing Authority Wilmington DE $1,500,000

Lakeland Housing Authority Lakeland FL $1,500,000

Gang Alternative Inc. Little Haiti/Miami FL $1,500,000

AMIkids Space Coast Inc Melbourne FL $1,500,000

Citrus Levy Marion Regional Workforce Development Board Inc. Ocala FL $844,712

AMIkids Panama City Marine Institute Inc. Panama City FL $1,500,000

Urban League of Greater Atlanta Atlanta GA $1,500,000

Georgia Building Trades Academy Inc Atlanta GA $1,152,000

Quad County Urban League Inc Aurora IL $1,146,713

Housing Authority of Champaign County Champaign IL $1,500,000

Community Development Institute Chicago IL $1,062,000

Spero Family Services Mount Vernon IL $864,000

YBLC Inc. (YouthBuild Lake County) North Chicago IL $1,350,000

Youth Conservation Corps Waukegan IL $1,500,000

Fort Wayne Housing Authority Fort Wayne IN $1,500,000

Alliance for Strategic Growth Inc Muncie IN $791,276

Young Adult Development in Action Inc. (YouthBuild Louisville) Louisville KY $1,500,000

Quad Area Community Action Inc Hammond LA $1,296,000

Housing Authority of the City of Shreveport Shreveport LA $1,500,000

Old Colony Young Men’s Christian Association Inc. Brockton MA $1,100,000

Community Teamwork Inc. Lowell MA $1,500,000

Detroit Employment Solutions Corp. Detroit MI$1,500,000

Detroit Housing Commission Detroit MI $1,500,000

SER Metro-Detroit Detroit MI $1,458,000

Bethany Christian Services Grand Rapids MI $1,399,999

Bi-County Community Action Programs Inc. Bemidji MN $972,000

St Joseph Youth Alliance St Joseph MO $1,350,000

Bridging Families to Communities and Beyond St Louis MO $1,098,000

West Jackson Community Development Corp. Jackson M.S. $1,500,000

Meridian Housing Authority Meridian MS $1,500,000

Career Training Institute Helena MT$1,260,000

Housing Authority of the City of Elizabeth Elizabeth NJ $1,500,000

St Nicks Alliance Brooklyn NY $1,500,000

The Service Collaborative of Western New York Inc. Buffalo NY $1,500,000

Queens Community House Inc Jamaica NY $1,259,199

Ulster YouthBuild Kingston NY $1,069,258

The Crenulated Company Ltd. (New Settlement Apartments) New York NY $1,500,000

Nubian Directions II Inc. Poughkeepsie NY $1,100,000

Urban League of Rochester Rochester NY $1,100,000

Towpath Trail High School Akron OH $1,500,000

Ohio Guidestone Berea OH $1,152,000

Easter Seals TriState Cincinnati OH $1,261,405

LIFT Community Action Agency Inc. Hugo OK $953,964

Portland YouthBuilders Portland OR $1,500,000

Philadelphia Youth for Change Charter School Philadelphia PA $1,500,000

Crispus Attucks Association of York, Pennsylvania York PA $1,100,000

Boys and Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico San Juan PR $1,499,282

South Carolina Regional Housing Authority No. 3 Barnwell SC $1,500,000

AMIkids Beaufort Inc. Seabrook SC $1,500,000

South Memphis Renewal Community Development Corp. Memphis TN $1,500,000

CLC Inc Fort Worth TX $1,250,000

Motivation, Education and Training Inc. New Caney TX $1,199,000

Walker Montgomery Community Development Corp. New Waverly TX $1,080,000

100 Black Men of San Antonio Inc. San Antonio TX $1,500,000

Northeast Washington Educational Service District 101 Spokane WA $1,348,720

Community Action Inc. of Rock and Walworth Counties Beloit WI $1,425,520

Operation Fresh Launch Madison WI $891,029

Randolph County Housing Authority Elkins WV$1,198,500

Total Awarded $90,363,320


BI-CAP YouthBuild started in 1989 as a state funded pilot program to provide specialized education, training and work experience for youth that were not successful in the current educational system. It was one of three programs in MN and the only rural site. This makes BI-CAP YouthBuild the oldest existing rural program out of the current 220 programs in 46 states and 56 programs internationally.

Today, BI-CAP YouthBuild continues to utilize the construction training model, not only to build a new home for a single family in the community and teach the importance of giving back to the community, but also to help youth learn valuable transferable softs skills and safety awareness they’ll need when they move on to other employment; such as timeliness, communication, working as a team, keeping a clean work site, and more.

YouthBuild’s current project on 818 Irvine Avenue is a three bed/two bath home with attached garage and finished basement. BI-CAP will sell this home to a qualifying person or family in the community and the proceeds will be applied to next house.

With funding from the awarded Department of Labor grant and funds through the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, BI-CAP YouthBuild will enroll 54 Beltrami or Cass County youth, ages 16 to 24, over the next two years. This time is divided into four cohorts, giving each participant a minimum 6 month paid opportunity.

Orientation into the program includes an overview of activities, handbook, history, testing, teambuilding activities, and of course, enrollment paperwork. Following that, participants move into completing a construction certification course to receive basic knowledge, tool instruction, and safety training before beginning work on the jobsite. Once all paperwork is completed, they have 3 roles: a student, a BI-CAP employee, and a participant of the BI-CAP YouthBuild training program.

Participants are then split into two teams, receive safety toed boots, hard hat, and other safety gear, and begin an alternating schedule with two days on the construction site and two days in the classroom per week. Participants work 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday, for a possible 29 hours a week.

They receive school credit for classroom coursework and construction training, as well as an hourly wage.

YouthBuild participants work toward earning their high school diploma or equivalency in our training center classroom with our year-round teaching staff provided through our close partnerships with Cass Lake Bena ALC and Cass County ABE.

Although participation in construction is required for the program, placement staff mentor YouthBuilders as they explore different careers, perform a skills assessment, write a résumé, and pursue the career, employment, apprenticeship, or post-secondary route of their choice. YouthBuild also offers certifications in OSHA10/30 of various fields, first aid/CPR, certified nursing assistant (CNA), and others. After program completion, participants transition into their chosen placement. Some may need more time to complete school credits after the 6 months and some may not be quite ready for a career and just want to work a steady job for a while.

BI-CAP YouthBuild works with other agencies in the community to resolve barriers for YouthBuild participants such as housing, childcare, and to receive mental health counseling or acquire insurance. Other services provided by the program include learning valuable life skills through staff or community speakers on: banking, budgeting and credit, goal setting, legal assistance, healthy relationships, and more. Participants also receive instruction or time to complete classes to acquire their driver’s permit or license.

“During orientation, I tell them, ‘staff are here to give you the tools to climb a few rungs up the ladder of life, but it’s up to you to keep climbing, make good choices, and stay up.’ Staff do their best to empower them to be leaders and pursue a self-sufficient path, to teach them how to create goals and pick away at them, and to believe success is possible, no matter their background.”

Recruitment ads are out and applications are being accepted, with a May 20th deadline, for an orientation to be held on June 6th. See eligibility requirements and print an application at or stop by our training center at 3023 Mill St NE, Bemidji. Apply anytime. Applications are held for one year and reviewed for the soonest orientation date.

Chris Mack (YouthBuild Program Manager)

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