Young men and women are encouraged to apply to become part of the new Newport News YouthBuild program. The U.S. Department of Labor awarded Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas (VOACC), in partnership with the City of Newport News, a $1.4 million YouthBuild grant to create this new workforce development and education program for 90 young people in the city. YouthBuild provides education and occupational skill development to help participants obtain employment in construction and other in-demand industries, including carpentry, maintenance and pre-apprenticeships in plumbing, heating ventilation and air conditioning, and electrical services.
Newport News YouthBuild is open to young men and women ages 16-24 who live in Newport News, with priority given to residents in zip code area 23607. The program will launch on June 22, with a second session slated to launch on October 5. The program lasts eight months, with follow-up support services for one year. Support services include career counseling, help during job searches and the application process, outreach to community businesses for placement, and more. Applications are currently being accepted and mandatory information sessions are hosted virtually twice a week in June.
Participants will engage in job readiness training, financial literacy classes and career exploration opportunities at the Four Oaks Training Center and Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center. They will earn their high school diploma or equivalency degree, if needed, and will attain at least one industry-recognized certification while preparing for postsecondary opportunities. Youth will also receive hands-on construction experience building homes in the city’s Southeast Community and will receive monetary stipends after successfully completing program milestones.
“This innovative program uplifts young men and women, giving them the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the workplace and life,” says Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS. “Each person learns differently, and YouthBuild offers participants customized, hands-on training, as well as mentorship and career coaching. This program will empower participants to invest in themselves and their future, while developing their potential as leaders and change makers.”
“We are excited to receive the Department of Labor YouthBuild grant and have the opportunity to work with and improve the lives of youth in Newport News,” says Nicholette Smith-Bligen, Director of Operations of Virginia Services at Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas. “We are honored to work in partnership with the City of Newport News to pave a path to success for young people living in our community through educational and vocational development.”
Visit www.voachesapeake.org/youthbuild for more information and to access the online application.