Tampa Bay will soon have funding from the federal government to help teach at-risk youths job skills.
The Tampa Housing Authority is set to receive $1 million from the U.S. Department of Labor as part of its YouthBuild grant, which is focused on helping at-risk youths and young adults learn entry-level construction skills. It was awarded to 72 locations with Tampa Bay and Fort Lauderdale being the only communities in Florida to receive the funding that is set to cover three years.
The YouthBuild program lasts for one year, and in the past few years, 123 at-risk youths and young adults – ages 16 through 24 – in Tampa Bay have successfully completed the program. According to a recent Tampa Tribune article, “It is a nonresidential community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational training in the construction field and other occupations.”
In the same article, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is quoted as saying, “ZIP code should not determine destiny, and everyone deserves second chances. And in some cases, folks deserve a first chance to make the most of their abilities. There’s no such thing as a spare American.”
In fact, Tampa’s YouthBuild Program Director John Arroyo goes on to say, “They learn something they like, and they set goals for themselves like becoming self-sufficient and getting out of government-subsidized housing. Students learn skills such as painting, woodworking, plastering and flooring installation. The program also prepares them to get a GED if they didn’t finish high school.”
The program is for both males and females. For more information, contact Arroyo at (813) 391-2841.