May 17, 2011

RI Delegation Announces Over $1M in Federal Funds for Providence Job Training Program

Washington, DC – In order to better prepare young Rhode Islanders for the jobs of tomorrow, the RI congressional delegation today announced $1.1 million in federal funds for YouthBuild Providence.  The program, which is a part of the Providence Plan, provides vocational training to at risk youth, helping to better prepare them for jobs in the construction industry and emerging clean energy economy.

“I am pleased that Providence Plan is receiving this critical federal funding to help ensure the continuation of its successful YouthBuild program.  This money will help YouthBuild Providence give more young people an opportunity to build a better future and create a stronger workforce for Rhode Island,” said Senator Jack Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees funding for Labor Department programs. “YouthBuild is able to reach a lot of kids who may have struggled in a traditional school setting and teach them the skills they need to launch successful careers in the construction business.”

“I’ve seen the YouthBuild program make a real difference in the lives of young Rhode Islanders,” said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.  “This funding will help YouthBuild Providence and the Providence Plan to continue preparing kids and young adults for higher education and giving them the skills they’ll need for the jobs of tomorrow.”

“We will not compete as a nation unless our workforce has the training to develop the skills required by new industries,” said Congressman Jim Langevin, co-chair of the Career and Technical Education Caucus, which works to match the training our educators provide with the abilities our businesses need. “In a time of difficult budget constraints, my priorities are with programs like these that put Rhode Islanders back to work. We can leave no stone unturned in our efforts to create jobs and provide the education our workers need to fill them.”

“Youthbuild is one of the state’s most effective partners in our efforts to strengthen our economy and build our workforce,” said Congressman David Cicilline, a longtime advocate for YouthBuild, having seen the difference this program has made in the lives of Rhode Islanders with his own eyes.  “This critical funding will help support Youth Build’s efforts to educate our young people and provide job training in the construction trades.  I congratulate the Providence Plan on receiving this award for its YouthBuild Providence program.  This valuable program is helping us strengthen our communities, encourage economic stability and grow a skilled, ready, and able workforce.”

“The funding from the U.S. Department of Labor for YouthBuild Providence comes at an ideal time as we move forward with local efforts to create multiple pathways that help young adults succeed both in school and at work,” said Patrick McGuigan, the Executive Director of The Providence Plan.

“The demand for YouthBuild services in Providence has never been greater,” said Anthony Hubbard, YouthBuild Providence Director.  “This grant – combined with other state, local, and private funds – will ensure that dozens of young adults in Providence develop the academic and occupational skills needed to find career-oriented employment.” 

The Providence Plan works to promote better collaboration between government, the private sector, and academic institutions in the city.  YouthBuild Providence, which was founded in 1996, provides a 10 month program combining academic curriculum with workforce training.  Over the past three years, YouthBuild Providence has had 90 graduates in its program – with one-third moving into construction jobs, one third into other careers, and one-third pursuing higher education. 

The funds announced today were granted by the U.S. Department of Labor, which has administered the national YouthBuild program since 2006.


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