The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati a three year, $1.2 million contract to be the local provider of the YouthBuild pre-apprenticeship program in Hamilton County.
Easterseals YouthBuild provides a fresh start to at-risk youth ages 16 – 24 who left high school before graduating. It gives them a new opportunity to earn their diploma or GED while also building up skills and credentials in the construction trades and other in-demand careers.
“Many young people who leave high school before graduating quickly realize it wasn’t a good decision for their future,” said Pam Green, President and CEO of Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati. “When they come to that realization, Easterseals is here to make sure they can get back on track to meaningful careers and more self-sufficient lives.”
Reaching at-risk youth who did not graduate high school before they turn 25 is critical to their future earning potential. The poverty rate in Hamilton County for adults over 25 who did not complete high school is 32.4%, double that of adults who completed high school. (Source: 2018 American Community Survey 5-year poverty estimates / US Census)
In the City of Cincinnati, the poverty rate for the same population without a high school diploma jumps to 44.4%. The poverty rate is again cut by half among Cincinnati residents who earned their high school diploma or equivalent.
An added benefit of Easterseals YouthBuild is the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials and certifications valued by employers. These include the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER); OSHA-10 certification; Bobcat, skid loader, and forklift certifications; and the National Career Readiness Certificate.
YouthBuild participants apply their construction skills and give back to the community through the complete renovation of vacant properties in Cincinnati neighborhoods. Easterseals acquires these properties through a partnership with The Port. The homes are sold as affordable housing for qualified low-income buyers. Proceeds from the sale of the renovated homes are reinvested back into the Easterseals YouthBuild program.
The U.S. Department of Labor grant covers about 80% of Easterseals YouthBuild costs. Gifts from corporate and private foundations, as well as gifts from individual donors, cover material costs and other expenses essential to a robust workforce development program.
Major funding partners for Easterseals YouthBuild include the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Spirit of Construction Foundation, the Charles H. Dater Foundation, and the Elsa Heisel Sule Foundation.
For more information about Easterseals YouthBuild, call 513-386-6852, email YouthBuild@EastersealsGC.org, or visit https://www.easterseals.com/gc/our-programs/youth-services/youthbuild.html.