YouthBuild Trains At-risk Long Islanders For Workforce

YouthBuild offers young people job skills. Photo by Mike Hazard.

YouthBuild, a nonprofit that offers pre-apprenticeship programs nationwide to at-risk youths so they can develop job skills, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

The organization, which was established in East Harlem in 1978, has been replicated in 21 nations and has a network of 260 programs in 44 states — including 20 in New York State and one on Long Island.

“Though education, hands-on training and leadership development, YouthBuild Long Island is dedicated to helping young people gain successful careers,” said Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island, which runs YouthBuild Long Island.  “We do this by leading them down a pathway of opportunities…. our young men and women are our future, and it is our team’s job to help them discover their strengths and interests, as well as train and mentor each student so they can become independent and financially stable, ultimately leading them to a better future for themselves and their families.”   

YouthBuild Long Island is a signature program of United Way of Long Island, dedicated to changing the path of Long Island’s youth by addressing the core issues facing low-income communities: Housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. At YouthBuild, young men and women ages 18 to 24 work toward their TASC High School Equivalency Diploma while learning essential job skills.

Participants can choose from a variety of vocation training paths including building trades and weatherization, manufacturing, certified nursing assistant, medical billing and coding, home health aide, dietary aide, food manager certification, and early child care.

YouthBuild Long Island gives young men and women a second chance to establish a productive life by giving graduates customer service, computer literacy, and career readiness skills that are necessary to succeed on any career path.

Congress recently approved $89 million in federal funding for YouthBuild so the program can help more young people get jobs.

“YouthBuild has a proven track record of preparing at-risk youth throughout New York State with the skills necessary to get good jobs,” said U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “With this federal investment, YouthBuild will be able to continue creating opportunities for students as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

For more information, visit unitedwayli.org/youthbuildli