News Releases

Murray Applauds Investment in Job Training for Washington State Youth

May 17 2011

Programs received funding in Seattle, Bellingham, Spokane, Yakima, Tacoma, Everett, and Olympia

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor that seven communities across Washington state will be receiving funding for YouthBuild programs to provide education and training to local young people. 

“Young people have been among the hardest hit in this economic recession, so it’s more important than ever that we make the right investments to make sure they have the skills and education they need to succeed in the workplace and throughout their lives,” said Senator Patty Murray.

Among young people between ages 16 and 19, the unemployment rate (April 2011) was 24.9%, virtually unchanged from a year ago.

The following communities in Washington state received funding:

  • Seattle: YouthCare$1,073,819

    YouthCare’s maintains articulation agreements with South Seattle Community College enabling project participants to receive college credit. The campus currently collaborates with a number of Joint Apprenticeship Committees to provide related and supporting courses for apprentices and journey workers. The program will develop and operate a green construction track, providing training and certifications in green construction techniques to position graduates to enter into this fast-growing industry. YouthCare’s YouthBuild partners with the King County Department of Transportation to provide a van to transport project participants to and from the classroom and the work site.

  • Bellingham: Lummi Nation Housing Authority$1,098,000

    The program will recruit specifically from the tribal community and the Reservation. Youth will be dual-enrolled at the Northwest Indian College to earn post-secondary credit while enrolled in the program. Lummi YouthBuild will work in conjunction with the Lummi National Housing Authority on the Repair and Rehab program providing hands on experience in construction including roofing, siding, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, drywall, flooring and cabinetry as well as a variety of “green” weatherization techniques and practices. The program provides youth with training and a readiness “package” which include tools, gear, clothing, books, resume, current Driver’s License, documentation of all their certifications, fact sheets, contacts for area apprenticeship programs, post-secondary education institutions, and employers.

  • Spokane: NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101$1,088,076

    Every YouthBuild Spokane graduate will have established financial support for at least one quarter of college. Additional financial support will be obtained through co-enrollment in the AmeriCorps program with an ability to earn a $1,000+ education award. Volunteers of America will provide support and advocacy for former foster care students to access scholarships. Based on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters’ model, participants will develop a relationship with a mentor from the construction industry and valuable contacts who can later provide job references. Participants focusing on a specific trade will also be paired with a mentor and placed in a job shadow or paid internship in the field. Youth will have the option of enrolling as part- and full-time AmeriCorps members on the construction team, and after completing 300 hours will earn a $1,000 education award.
  • Yakima: Opportunities Industrialization Center of Washington (OIC)$1,100,000

    The program uses a complete interactive training system for career readiness skill, KeyTrain. YouthBuild participants also have many opportunities to improve their computer skills. WorkSource Washington, a One Stop Partner, has contracted with Microsoft and is providing Microsoft e-learning online courses and certifications. YouthBuild participants are able to access these courses in OIC’s educational center. Each graduate has lifetime access to Opportunities Investment Centers to continue enhancing academic and job search skills, advice and support as needed.

  • Tacoma: Tacoma Goodwill$1,100,000

    A matriculation agreement with Bates Technical College ensures that once youth earn a high school diploma or GED, each has the opportunity to begin earning college credits by taking developmental education courses to help bridge the gap between adult basic education and 100-level college courses, preparing students for college-level course work. Youth will build two new low-income single family homes, and rehabilitate or modify at least four older homes.

  • Everett: Workforce Development Council Snohomish County$798,680

    The program will operate in a rural community experiencing extremely high dropout rates and rapidly rising gang activity. Classroom training provided by Edmonds Community College and Everett Community College using the innovative, evidence-based Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) instructional model which pairs academic and professional-technical instructors in the classroom to enhance students’ literacy, work readiness, and occupational skills simultaneously. All construction training will be “green from the ground up” and all homes constructed will meet Energy Star certification requirements. Community service projects include senior chore service assistance and building ramps for people with disabilities.

  • Olympia: Community Youth Services—$1,080,000

    The program will serve both urban and rural neighborhoods in Thurston County and surrounding areas. Youth will benefit from the use of the Apex digital curriculum which offers individual instruction to support success to all students from the academically challenged to the more advanced. Academic credits will be earned through an agreement with South Puget Sound Community College and two local technical colleges. Links to potential employment exist through articulation agreements with the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Laborers for direct entry to unions; and mentoring and pre-apprenticeship opportunities through partnership with the Washington Building and Trades Council. Youth will build permanent and transitional housing for Thurston County’s growing homeless population using “green” construction methods to take advantage of the environmentally conscious business and construction growth in the Northwest.

YouthBuild assists out-of-school youth in obtaining their diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the construction industry. YouthBuild participants include individuals who have been in the juvenile justice system, youth aging out of foster care, high school dropouts and others. In addition to receiving academic and occupational skills training, young people develop leadership skills and participate in community service opportunities.

The Labor Department held a competition for applications in fall 2010. A first round of were awardees were announced in March 2011.