AMIkids Beaufort, a nonprofit organization that has been transforming troubled youth into responsible members of the community for more than 30 years, is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $1.1 Million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to establish a YouthBuild program. This will be the second AMIkids, Inc. program that has been awarded a YouthBuild grant, the first being AMIkids Baton Rouge in 2019.
The AMIkids Beaufort YouthBuild will be a pre-apprenticeship program aimed at giving high school drop-outs, between the ages of 16-24, a chance to earn up to $2,700 while attending a six month program that provides nationally-accredited construction and welding training, opportunity to earn their GED and job readiness training.
This grant will support the training of 64 at-risk youth and young adults in the construction and welding trades, meeting a local need for skilled workers. The program will officially open in April of 2020, offering a comprehensive educational and training program that includes case management, academic training, pre-apprenticeship vocational training in Construction and Welding industries, leadership development opportunities, community service learning. career-focused mentoring, and 12 months of follow up services. Participants will be referred through an existing contract between AMIkids Inc. and the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.
“Our Vocational Education & Job Placement Programming is an essential part of the services we provide our youth, as it gives them more choices to finding a brighter tomorrow,” says Michael Thornton, President & CEO, AMIkids Inc. “This grant will allow us to expand these services and offer more to the residential youth we serve in South Carolina. ”
AMIkids Beaufort will provide GED test preparation delivered by a classroom teacher. Forty percent of students’ activity will be focused on learning vocational skills; this will be delivered under the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Core and Welding I curriculum and OSHA 10-hour curriculum. In addition, the AMIkids Job Readiness Curriculum will be delivered to students in a group format throughout the program.
Participants will also gain hands-on experience by building or renovating at least one unit of low-income housing in partnership with Low County Habitat for Humanity. The training will take place in an onsite classroom and construction training facility at AMIkids Beaufort. Additional training will take place on site at active construction sites.
Additional partners will be key to the program’s success. SC Works will serve as a One-Stop partner and AMIkids Beaufort YouthBuild will refer eligible youth between the agencies. AMIkids Beaufort also partners with Florida Masonry Apprentice & Education Foundation to sponsor its NCCER curriculum training, Lennar Homes as a construction industry employer partner, as well asother local employers.
The U.S. Department of Labor YouthBuild program has a network of more than 200 urban and rural YouthBuild programs in 46 states. To find a YouthBuild grantee near you, please visit www.doleta.gov/youth_services/youthbuild.cfm.