Senators Announce Funding For Education & Job Training Programs For At-Risk Youth

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U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (left) and Robert Menendez (right)

U.S. Sens. Frank Lautenberg (left) and Robert Menendez (right)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today announced that four New Jersey organizations with YouthBuild programs will receive more than $4.2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). These YouthBuild grants will help young men and women earn a GED or high school diploma while learning critical occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology and other fields.

Brand New Day, Inc. of Elizabeth will receive $1.1 million, while the Housing Authority of the City of Camden, New Jersey Community Development Corporation and St. Paul`s Community Development Corporation, both in Paterson, will each receive slightly less.

“Investing in our YouthBuild programs is an investment in young people who deserve a second chance to reach their fullest potential,” said Menendez. “It’s absolutely crucial that we don’t let our young New Jerseyans – those who have lost their way or lack the support and nurturing they need – fall through the cracks. Instead, we must provide them with the tools they need to not only succeed in their own lives, but to contribute to the success of our State and country as well.”

“The YouthBuild program provides young adults with an opportunity to advance their education while learning valuable job skills and serving their communities,” said Lautenberg, who is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which funds the Department of Labor. “The skills, training, and education provided by these programs will not only help individuals succeed, they will also strengthen our state and local neighborhoods.”

Menendez most recently wrote a letter to DOL in support of funding for The Housing Authority of the City of Camden’s YouthBuild program, and Lautenberg has written to Senate Appropriations Committee leaders urging continued federal support of the program.

YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to at-risk individuals ages 16-24. Many participants have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school, or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational milestones and opportunities that lead to career fulfillment.

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