SOURCE: Goodwill Industries International

October 25, 2007 13:20 ET

Goodwill Wins Department of Labor Grants for At-Risk Youth

Goodwill/YouthBuild Initiatives to Help Young Adults Launch Careers in Construction

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - October 25, 2007) - The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded three local Goodwill agencies grants totaling more than $500,000 a year for two years to support job training and education for at-risk youth ages 16 to 24. Part of the department's first YouthBuild award, the grants will fund education in construction and leadership training; program participants will also help build affordable housing in their own communities.

"The Department of Labor's YouthBuild formula fits naturally with the work of Goodwill Industries, providing at-risk youth the opportunity to work so that they can support themselves," says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "At Goodwill, we believe that everyone deserves the chance to enjoy the dignity and independence that work brings."

Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley (Johnstown, PA), Tacoma Goodwill Industries (WA) and Wall Street Mission Goodwill Industries (Sioux City, IA), are among 96 different organizations selected to implement the Labor Department's YouthBuild program across the United States. Participants in the programs will include youth who have been in the juvenile justice system, young people aging out of foster care, and high school dropouts -- all of whom are having a hard time finding good jobs because they lack a high school diploma and necessary job skills. Programs offered through the grants will help them earn their GEDs as they learn masonry, ventilation, and basic construction and homebuilding skills.

"Through YouthBuild, these young people will acquire real-world skills while climbing the first rungs of the career ladder," says Kessinger. In 2006, more than 46,000 at-risk youth, youth with disabilities, teen parents, and youth ex-offenders benefited from various Goodwill programs, such as School-to-Work, charter schools and literacy classes.

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Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Christine Nyirjesy Bragale, ABC
    Director, Media Relations
    Goodwill Industries International
    Ph. (240) 333-5264