BATON ROUGE, LA, February 14, 2019 – AMIkids Baton Rouge, 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 U.S. Department of Labor YouthBuild grant, aimed at giving former high school drop-outs a chance to earn up to $2,700 while attending a six month program that provides nationally-accredited construction training, HiSet test preparation, and job placement.
The US Department of Labor funds 75% of the AMIkids Baton Rouge YouthBuild Program, committing $1,100,000 in federal dollars. The remaining 25% ($275,000) of the project budget is financed by non-governmental sources.
Of the more than 200 applicants nationwide, AMIkids Baton Rouge was one of only 81 selected by the Department of Labor for funding, which will support the training of 65 at-risk youth and youth adults in the construction trade, meeting a local need for skilled workers.
Recruitment to fill the initial 22 slots available for this program will begin in March, with applicants required to attend orientation classes and assessments. To be eligible, participants must be between the ages of 16-24 and have previously dropped out of school. The YouthBuild training program will begin June 1st and each cohort will take approximately six months to complete the program.
“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 reach even more at-risk youth in the Baton Rouge Community.”
AMIkids Baton Rouge will provide HiSet test preparation delivered by a classroom teacher. Forty percent of students’ daily activity will be focused on learning vocational skills; this will be delivered under the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) 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 Partners Southeast. The training will take place in an onsite classroom and construction training facility at AMIkids Baton Rouge. Additional training will take place on site at active construction sites.
Two additional partners will be key to the program’s success. Louisiana Workforce Commission will serve as a One-Stop partner and AMIkids Baton Rouge YouthBuild will refer eligible youth between the agencies. AMIkids Baton Rouge also partners with the Associated Builders and Contractors – Pelican Chapter which affirms the need for the NCCER training in this community and has committed to assisting AMIkids YouthBuild participants with learning about opportunities to work and continue to train in the construction trade.
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.