Funding Opportunities

Funds available for youth development programs

Written by Mindia Whittier

Nonprofits can receive grants to prepare young workers for quality jobs by promoting the attainment of skills necessary for success in a knowledge-based economy.

Grants up to $1.5 million are available for organizations that provide pre-apprenticeship programs benefiting disadvantaged youth.

The U.S. Department of Labor is offering funds for initiatives including education, occupational skills training, leadership development, and high-quality post-program placement opportunities to youth. The funding opportunity, known as YouthBuild, serves youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who left high school prior to graduation and have other risk factors such as being an adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, migrant farmworker youth, those experiencing housing instability and other disadvantage populations.

The initiative is a community-based pre-apprenticeship program. Youth learn vocational skills in construction, as well as in other in-demand industries that include health care, information technology, and hospitality. Youth also provide community service through the required construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in their own neighborhoods.

Participants split their time between the vocational training work site and the classroom, where they earn their high school diploma or equivalency degree, learn to be community leaders, and prepare for postsecondary training opportunities, including college, apprenticeships, and employment. YouthBuild includes significant support systems, such as a mentoring, follow-up education, employment, and personal counseling services; and participation in community service and civic engagement.

Administered by the Office of Workforce Investment’s Division of Youth Services, YouthBuild serves more than 6,000 youth in approximately 210 YouthBuild programs in more than 40 states. 

The deadline to apply is Jan. 22, 2022. Click here to see the full details and apply online.

About the author

Mindia Whittier