Funding Alert! YouthBuild Grants

Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration

Does your organization provide education, occupational skills training, and/or employment services to at-risk youth? The Department of Labor (DOL) – Employment and Training Administration recently opened applications for its YouthBuild program. This program supports organizations that provide pre-apprenticeship services to youth ages 16 to 24, while these at-risk youth perform meaningful work and service within their communities.

Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants are public or private nonprofit agencies, including rural, urban, or Native American agencies that have experience in serving disadvantaged youth. Examples of eligible organizations include community and faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofits, workforce development boards, educational institutions, community action agencies, and state or local housing development agencies.

YouthBuild grant recipients are expected to proactively develop meaningful partnerships and collaborations, as well as relationships with employers in multiple industries. Prior to applying, applicants should also initiate a partnership with their local Workforce Development Board, as YouthBuild programs are required partners of American Job Centers (or one-stop career centers).

What do the programs look like?

YouthBuild balances project-based academic learning and occupational skills training to assist at-risk youth with earning their high school diploma and to prepare them for career placement. It also increases the availability of local affordable and/or transitional housing. Youth participate in the construction or renovation of homes for sale or rent to low-income families or those experiencing homelessness.

YouthBuild programs are considered “pre-apprenticeship” programs, meaning they are designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in an apprenticeship program. Pre-apprenticeships include the following components:

1) Training and curriculum aligned with the needs of local or regional employers;

2) Access to supportive services, such as educational and career counseling;

3) Hands-on, meaningful learning activities connected to education and training;

4) Opportunities to earn at least one industry-recognized credential; and

5) A partnership with at least one registered apprenticeship program to assist with placement in an apprenticeship after program completion.

The 40-month period of performance includes the following:

  • Planning period to hire program staff, finalize MOUs with job center or Workforce Development Board, make budget revisions and confirm match source/amount, and initiate recruitment/outreach of participants (up to four months total);
  • Active program services (education, occupational skills training, and youth leadership development activities) for one or more youth cohorts (two years); and
  • Follow-up support services and tracking outcomes for each cohort (one year).

The DOL expects to fund approximately 75 projects, at least half of which are from applicants who have demonstrated previous success with YouthBuild funding. Grants range from $700,000 to $1.5 million and require a 25% non-federal match. Proposals are due February 9, 2021.

What makes a project a good fit?

In awarding funding, the DOL will consider the proposed area’s need for services for youth, as well as its need for affordable housing. Factors include historical economic indicators such as unemployment and poverty. Applicants targeting a designated qualified opportunity zone (at least one census tract of the program’s target area) may be eligible for priority consideration.

The DOL is also interested in supporting construction career pathways through the Construction Plus component, a funding priority of the YouthBuild program. Through the Construction Plus model, grantees will provide expanded training opportunities, pathways to industry-recognized certifications, hands-on work experience, and direct entry into apprenticeships or hiring in the construction industry.

What if I am ready to apply?

To move your application forward, take the following action steps ASAP:

What if I need help with this application?

Contact Assel Grant Services today! Our team can help with all aspects of preparing the application and managing the grant if you are awarded. If you would like to discuss this possibility, please contact AGS as soon as possible. Rosie Brennan, Community Engagement Specialist will be happy to talk with you about this opportunity and provide you a quote for grant services.

What if I am not ready to apply this year?

Check out other opportunities to work with the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration. The agency website provides resources regarding other grant programs, workforce tools and strategies, and employment news.

How do I learn more about federal grant opportunities?

AGS is excited to offer a new Federal Grants Training Series! The series is designed to support nonprofit professionals before and during their first federal grant. AGS also offers several on demand webinars on a variety of topics to support the full grant cycle. Check out our website to learn more and sign up for our training newsletter.

This post is aligned with the Grant Professional Certification Institute’s Competencies and Skills:

Competency #1: Knowledge of how to research, identify, and match funding resources to meet specific needs

Skill 1.2: Identify major trends in public funding and public policy

Skill 1.6: Identify fundable programs and projects for specific organization

Skill 1.7: Determine best matches between funders and specific programs