Funding Extended for YouthBuild Program

Posted 1/9/2020

Commitment continues program that has changed the lives of young people

The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has extended funding through 2023 for the DMACC YouthBuild of Central Iowa program, a DMACC pre-apprenticeship program that targets disadvantaged youth.

The $915,697 ETA grant will fund participants’ course work and materials, tools, high school equivalency coursework, testing, industry certifications, instructor salaries and student stipends. More than 200 young adults have completed the DMACC program since 2009. 

“I’m excited and looking forward to continuing the critical work of DMACC YouthBuild which, over the years, has been instrumental in changing the lives of many young people who feel trapped by barriers in their lives,” said YouthBuild Director Leonard Bell. “This funding allows our DMACC staff, along with our many partners, including the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, the Fifth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services, Children and Families of Iowa and Iowa WORKS (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) and Local Laborers Union 177 (LiUNA) to continue to serve the young people in our community who, for whatever reason be it economic, incarceration/probation, personal traumatic experiences, and/or academic deficiency, have fallen behind in life.”

The DMACC YouthBuild program provides youth ages 18 to 24 with the opportunity to work toward economic self-sufficiency and an educational goal attainment. The seven month, full-time program gives students an opportunity to obtain nationally recognized construction and carpentry certifications, specialized training in selected fields and college credit, all while completing their high school equivalency. Participants also build homes through the partnership with the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity resulting in more affordable housing for area low income families. 

“DMACC YouthBuild can now continue to bridge the academic and work readiness skills gap of our community’s underprepared young adult population who have fallen behind,” Bell said.

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