Birmingham and Bessemer housing authorities get $1.5 million each for youth workforce development
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Congresswoman Terri Sewell was in town Monday to announce millions for workforce training for young people.
The money is part of grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and will be used to train young people between the ages of 16 and 24 for careers in healthcare or construction.
More than $4.2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor is coming to Birmingham and Bessemer.
Housing authorities in both cities received $1.5 million Monday from the labor department’s YouthBuild program to prepare at-risk youth for the workforce.
“We are indeed happy that the federal government is leveraging federal resources to help underserved, at-risk youth, and I’m especially excited because the YouthBuild program actually allows for young folks that are part of the cohort to receive money while they’re learning,” Rep. Sewell.
HABD matched its award for a total of $3 million providing additional resources for participants.
“When I think of the YouthBuild, I think of second chance. To some, second chances are not an option. So, the participants that have a second chance to earn their high school diploma, they have a second chance at post-secondary training opportunities, and gain occupational skills in construction and other high-demand fields such as health care,” said President and CEO of HABD, Dontrelle Young Foster.
The program is in the recruitment phase now and HABD said it will be knocking on doors and implementing an online campaign to spark interest.
Demand for skilled trades and apprenticeships continues to grow in our area and the housing authority said this grant will help them get young people on a direct path to careers of the future.
“They will receive a stipend and that’s going to help them to the finish line. Most of them are not home with mom and dad. They’re trying to live their own lives and trying to do better. So, not only will they have a little money in their pocket, they’ll have us holding them and cheering them on the whole way,” said Director of Workforce Development for HABD, Jacqueline French.
The goal is to graduate at least 84 participants in the construction and health care field over the next 3 years.
Each cohort will have 20-25 students who will participate in 6-month training programs.
For more information about the YouthBuild program, visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/youth/youthbuild.
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