United Way of Long Island is the recipient of a competitive $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The funding will be used to expand United Way of Long Island’s YouthBuild program into the Village of Hempstead, serving 70 young adults over the course of two years; recruitment will begin in June 2019. The funding was announced in February and awarded to 81 recipients across 32 states. This will be the fifth time United Way of Long Island has been awarded a U.S. Department of Labor YouthBuild grant; previous grants were received in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016, serving 280 young adults to date.
“YouthBuild has been a lifeline for hundreds of at-risk young adults on Long Island, helping them to learn the trade skills necessary to get and keep good-paying jobs,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Labor has recognized the importance of United Way of Long Island’s YouthBuild program and look forward to hearing about its many successes.”
“Sometimes all our young people need is a little encouragement, guidance and the chance to believe in themselves, which the YouthBuild program provides. This federal investment will empower our local neighborhoods, enabling individuals to achieve success, reduce the unemployment rate and put people back to work,” added Congresswoman Kathleen Rice.
YouthBuild Long Island provides educational and career training for young adults, ages 18-24, to give them the technical and life skills needed to begin entry level jobs that will lead to mid-skills careers. Participating students receive academic training to prepare them to pass the TASC exam for their high school equivalency diploma. They then select a career pathway in construction, healthcare, manufacturing or medical billing. Many YouthBuild graduates advance to additional trades training with United Way’s partner, Opportunities Long Island, where a significant portion of graduates have gained connections and moved on to apprenticeships and careers with local unions as ironworkers, electricians, plumbers and carpenters. Other YouthBuild alumni have gone on to succeed as nursing assistants, home health aides, licensed practical nurses and college graduates.
Through United Way of Long Island’s work with the Village of Hempstead ESPRI taskforce, the need for workforce development opportunities was identified as a top priority for the community. This priority parallels that of the larger Long Island region. Workforce development is critical to helping the Hempstead community achieve prosperity. YouthBuild Hempstead builds upon United Way of Long Island’s successful workforce development program model, which currently serves the Wyandanch community.
United Way of Long Island has a strong relationship with the Village of Hempstead, paving the way for a successful YouthBuild program. ““We fully embrace partnering with United Way of Long Island in bringing YouthBuild to the residents of Hempstead,” said Mayor Don Ryan. “This program will help young adults to receive the necessary academic and workforce training that will create job opportunities and opens the door to a potential career path for many that will allow them to take control of their lives and enjoy financial self-sufficiency.”
Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island, elaborated, “This YouthBuild grant significantly builds on United Way of Long Island’s capacity to create change in Long Island communities, especially the Village of Hempstead. Engaging and reconnecting young adults to education, work, and their community is key to the continued economic development of our region. United Way of Long Island is honored to provide these critical services.”
To learn more about YouthBuild Long Island, visit www.unitedwayli.org/YouthBuildLI.
Photo Caption: YouthBuild Long Island students complete on-site training for careers including construction and nursing.
About YouthBuild Long Island
YouthBuild Long Island is a signature program of United Way of Long Island, dedicated to changing the path of Long Island’s youth by addressing the core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. At YouthBuild, young men and women, ages 18 - 24, work towards their TASC High School Equivalency Diploma while learning essential job skills.
About U.S. Department of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor fosters, promotes, and develops the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.
About Village of Hempstead
Founded in 1643, the Incorporated Village of Hempstead spans 3.7 square miles in the heart of Nassau County and has a population of more than 53,000 according to a 2010 census. In 1853 it became the first self-governing incorporated village, and is currently the largest and most densely populated village in the country. Within easy commuting distance of Midtown, Manhattan, it is one of the most convenient, diverse residential and commercial locations on Long Island. For more information about the Incorporated Village of Hempstead, please visit www.villageofhempstead.org.