Goodwill Industries Wins Department of Labor Grants for At-Risk Youth

Rockville, MD. — The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded five local Goodwill® agencies grants totaling approximately $47 million. U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis announced the award, which assists out-of-school youth in obtaining their diplomas or General Educational Development (GED) certificates, while providing occupational training in the construction industry to build affordable homes for families with lower incomes.
“The Department of Labor’s YouthBuild formula fits naturally with the work of Goodwill Industries®, providing at-risk youth the opportunity to work so that they can support themselves,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “The participants are able to learn through the power of work by on-the-job skills training and education.”
The grant was awarded to 62 current and 121 new YouthBuild program grantees. Three Goodwill agencies receiving regular YouthBuild program funds were Wall Street Mission Industries (Sioux City, IA) for $687,500, Tacoma Goodwill (Tacoma, WA) for $687,500 and Goodwill Industries of Northern New England (Portland, ME) for $686,864.
The Tacoma Goodwill has had more than 300 YouthBuild participants since its program began in 2006 and has donated more than 26,500 volunteer hours to the construction of homes and community rehabilitation projects. This commitment resulted in eight new homes and the rehabilitation of 30 additional residences. In Portland, Goodwill recruits 70 at-risk, low-income youth, ages 18 to 24, to participate in the two-year program. They finish their education while learning masonry and homebuilding skills to build a 10-unit, permanent supportive housing complex from the ground up and to rehabilitate an abandoned school into six permanent housing units.
Two Goodwill agencies receiving awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding included Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa (Omaha, NE) for $523,319 and Goodwill Industries of The Conemaugh Valley (Johnstown, PA) for $503,479.
“Through YouthBuild, participants learn vital job skills training while providing housing in their communities,” said Gibbons. “Youth are able to launch a career in the construction industry while building a future for themselves.”