The Tampa Bay YouthBuild program got a shot in the arm recently with an infusion of funding from WorkNet Pinellas, which received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The money makes it possible to continue providing academic and occupational skills training for at-risk youth ages 17-24 while constructing affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in the community.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to build on the success of the previous YouthBuild program," said Ed Peachey, president and CEO of Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance and WorkNet Pinellas. "Not only will these youth receive training which will help them begin a career path in construction trades, the community will benefit from their efforts by increasing the amount of available affordable housing and by having a more skilled workforce."
YouthBuild programs last between six and 24 months. Participants learn job skills and can earn up to $5,000 in cash incentives while learning the construction trade, receive industry certification, earn a GED or high school diploma, and prepare for college and other post-secondary training opportunities.
Tampa Bay YouthBuild includes additional support systems, such as mentoring, follow-up education, and employment and personal counseling services. Participation in community service and civic engagement is also highlighted.
Partners for the Tampa Bay YouthBuild program include the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, Home Builders Institute, Pinellas County Schools, Junior Achievement of Tampa Bay, Pinellas County Health and Human Services, Independent Electrical Contractors, the Masonry Association of Florida and the Florida Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Contractors Association.
WorkNet Pinellas is a member of the Employ Florida statewide network of workforce services and resources. For more information about the Tampa Bay YouthBuild program, call (727) 524-4344, email [email protected], or visit worknetpinellas.org.
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