Yesterday I had the chance to announce that our Employment and Training Administration is making approximately $75 million in grants available for the YouthBuild program. I have to be honest, there are perks to being a cabinet secretary, but one that I truly enjoy is the chance to be a part of programs like YouthBuild that are helping our nation’s young people get a second chance to succeed.
I’m a strong believer in smart investments in our future and that includes providing opportunities for young people to learn the critical jobs they need to succeed in a global economy, as well as the vital life skills that are too often an afterthought for youth in disadvantaged communities.
In YouthBuild programs across the country, students looking for a second chance get just that. Classroom instruction provides them with the foundation they need to obtain their high school diploma or GED. Meanwhile, they also gain the real-world work experience, industry recognized credentials, and important leadership skills employers want to see.
Yesterday’s announcement expands on the opportunities available to YouthBuild students by offering skills training in additional industries, including areas where we are seeing rapid growth like health care and information technology. This expansion of the program will open up more avenues for YouthBuild graduates to succeed. This program will help our nation meet the challenge of the 21st century economy, fulfilling President Obama’s vision of an America built to last.
YouthBuild has graduated more than 100,000 students over the years. These are young people with a new shot at enjoying the life they want through a good job and hard work. But don’t take my word for it – hear for yourself as just a few graduates explain how YouthBuild gave them a second chance at success: http://www.dol.gov/dol/media/webcast/20110512-youthbuild/.