On September 22nd U.S. Secretary of Labor, Thomas E. Perez, announced the award of approximately $80.3 million to 77 organizations nationwide for YouthBuild programs. Job Point will receive $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) over a three year period to enhance its YouthBuild activities in Boone County. Secretary Perez said, “All young people are gifted and talented, and it is everyone’s responsibility to help draw out those gifts and talents. YouthBuild provides young people with an important opportunity to gain the education and skills they need for good-paying jobs, while also helping them become more engaged members of their communities. That can mean everything to a young person who didn’t get the easiest start in life.”
Job Point’s YouthBuild grant will assist 67 opportunity young adults to advance educational levels, develop leadership abilities, and obtain skills training in the construction field, while building new homes in our community’s most impoverished neighborhoods. The program will address the core issues facing our communities of poverty, graduation rates, unemployment, crime rates and safe, affordable housing. The primary target population is high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, young people aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, homeless youth and other disconnected youth populations between the ages of 17-½ to 24. The project places a priority on serving females with or without children, as well as veterans and their spouses. As a result, two single-family homes will be built utilizing green technologies, then sold to income-eligible individuals or families with down payment assistance available through partnership with the City of Columbia.
“YouthBuild is an extraordinary program, and we are very happy to receive continued funding. We look forward to implementing this newest project, which allows us to offer a valid and proven solution for our community’s youth who are at-risk,” stated Steven A. Smith, Job Point President.
Major collaborators with Job Point in this project include: Central Missouri Workforce Investment Board, City of Columbia, Columbia Public Schools, Columbia Housing Authority, Ellis & Associates, The Ruckus Group, Youth Empowerment Zone, ParentLink, Carpenters’ Joint Apprenticeship Program, Boone County Alternative Sentencing Courts, local employers and two-four year colleges and Columbia Missouri Community Housing Development Organization, a nonprofit subsidiary of Job Point. Altogether partners are leveraging an additional $275,000 over the three year grant period in our quest to build emotionally healthy, well-educated, responsible and confident youth.