Feds extend funding for DMACC YouthBuild of Central Iowa

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The U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) has extended funding through 2023 for the YouthBuild of Central Iowa program, a Des Moines Area Community College (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,” said Youthbuild Director Leonard Bell. “Over the years, YouthBuild has been instrumental in changing the lives of many young people who feel trapped by barriers in their lives.”

Bell said the federal funding allows DMACC staff and the program’s many partners, such as Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, the Iowa 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 serving young people who have fallen behind in life, whether through poverty, criminal-justice entanglements, personal traumatic experiences or academic deficiencies.

“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,” said Bell.

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.

YouthBuild participants also build homes through the partnership with the Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity, resulting in more affordable housing for low-income families in the area.

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