Grant Details

YouthBuild Grants

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    C - Funds little to no technology


    Employment and Training Administration (ETA)


    YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program for youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are high school dropouts, adjudicated youth, youth aging out of foster care, youth with disabilities, migrant farmworker youth, and other disadvantaged youth populations. The YouthBuild program simultaneously addresses several core issues important to low-income communities: affordable housing, education, employment opportunities in in-demand industries and apprenticeship pathways, and leadership development.

    YouthBuild programs are the connection point to vital services for the youth they serve. Meaningful partnership and collaboration are key aspects of this service delivery model, through the workforce system, as well as the education and human services systems. DOL expects applicants funded through this solicitation to have well-established partnerships in place prior to grant award.

    The YouthBuild model balances project-based academic learning and occupational skills training to prepare disadvantaged youth for career placement. The academic component assists youth who are often significantly behind in basic skill development to obtain a high school diploma or state high school equivalency credential. The occupational skills training component prepares at-risk youth to gain placement into career pathways and/or further education or training, and also supports the goal of increasing affordable housing within communities by teaching youth construction skills learned by building or significantly renovating homes for sale or rent to low-income families or transitional housing for homeless families or individuals.

    Career Pathways are a key strategy to increase employment opportunities, including through the use of apprenticeships. YouthBuild programs funded by DOL are recognized as pre-apprenticeship programs, thus grantees are expected to develop program models that align with pre-apprenticeship.

    There are two key types of apprenticeship supported by DOL. Along with Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs), which are a proven model of apprenticeship validated by the U.S. Department of Labor or a State Apprenticeship Agency and registered under the National Apprenticeship Act, Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) are new and emerging across the country. IRAPs are high-quality apprenticeship programs available in all sectors except construction. A Standards Recognition Entity, pursuant to the DOL's standards, recognizes IRAPs, which can benefit Construction Plus programs focused on in-demand industries. These programs provide individuals with opportunities to obtain workplace-relevant knowledge and progressively advancing skills. As with RAPs, IRAPs include a paid-work component and an educational component and result in an industry-recognized credential. An IRAP is developed or delivered by entities such as trade and industry groups, corporations, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, unions, and joint labor-management organizations. Grantees awarded under this announcement should be actively developing the connection points described above to develop relationships and pathways that lead to employment and placements in registered and industry-recognized apprenticeship programs.

    To support this career pathway focus, DOL strongly encourages all YouthBuild applicants to develop program proposals that include occupational skills training in other in-demand industries in addition to construction skills training. This expansion into additional in-demand industries is referred to as the YouthBuild Construction Plus component, and is a priority element of the program. DOL offered Construction Plus in recognition that YouthBuild participants pursue fields beyond construction after exiting the program. The Construction Plus component creates expanded training opportunities in additional in-demand fields that benefit participants and local employers. As this is a program priority, DOL will award up to six priority consideration points for quality Construction Plus proposals from applicants. Please note that the evaluation criteria includes a total of 96 points, with the possibility of up to seven additional priority consideration bonus points. ETA will award up to six priority points to applicants proposing qualifying Construction Plus trainings(s). Additionally, all applicants will earn one priority consideration point based on the inclusion of designated Opportunity Zones in the application.

    The Construction Plus model allows YouthBuild grantees to use DOL grant funds for training in additional in-demand industries with the goal of attaining industry-recognized certifications, hands-on work experience in industry settings, and direct entry into apprenticeships or direct hiring into these industries. Since Construction Plus began in 2012, YouthBuild grant programs have provided training in diverse industries and occupations, including healthcare, information technology, hospitality and retail services, and logistics. Construction Plus programs must use the same five pre-apprenticeship elements to develop their Construction Plus pathways. 

    YouthBuild programs are required partners of American Job Centers, or one-stop centers. All YouthBuild programs must adhere to the requirements of being a one-stop partner. Partnering with American Job Centers provides an opportunity for YouthBuild grantees to develop the necessary partnerships for Construction Plus training. It also supports participant success through job development support, employer connections, basic assessment and referral services, supportive services provision, transition services for post-exit placements, and continuing education and training. 

    WIOA places a strong emphasis on the role of employers in successful workforce development strategies, and requires grantees to report on their effectiveness in serving employers. Grantees awarded under this announcement are expected to actively develop new employer relationships and strengthen existing connections, both in construction and non-construction industries. As a required one-stop partner, YouthBuild grantees will benefit from accessing and leveraging the strengths of the American Job Center network to support participant success by gaining access to employer networks, job development professionals with direct knowledge of local labor market needs, and additional support services. 

    Changes for the 2021 cycle:

    • "Homeless youth" has been replaced with "migrant farmworker youth" as a target disadvantaged group.
    • "Energy efficiency" has been removed as a core issue and "employment" was narrowed to "employment opportunities in in-demand industries and apprenticeship pathways."
    • New explicit expectation that applicants already have well-developed partnerships prior to the award.
    • New support for Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) or Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).
    • Stronger emphasis on "Construction Plus," teaching not just construction skills but also other in-demand skills.

    History of Funding

    Previous award information is available here:

    Additional Information

    Because one of the goals of the YouthBuild program is to provide affordable housing, all YouthBuild grant programs must offer construction skills training. Construction skills training is central to the overall philosophy of the YouthBuild program and can provide a visible transformational experience for young people who have rarely had opportunities to see tangible and positive results from their efforts. All applicants must demonstrate their commitment to increasing the supply of permanent housing for homeless and/or lowincome individuals and families, which benefits the community where the affordable housing is built or renovated, and also provides youth with an opportunity to give back to their communities and work and learn in a team environment. YouthBuild grantees must accomplish this goal by having a sufficient number of youths enrolled in and completing the construction skills training component to enable the program to build or substantially renovate at least one unit of housing within the grant period of performance. Each program must also have access to a work site to use for on-site construction training. The construction work sites built and renovated by YouthBuild participants must only be constructed for homeless and/or low-income individuals and families to reside in. It is up to the grantee to determine the threshold number of participants that they will need during the program cycle to complete at least one unit of housing. However, all applicants must ensure that every participant will have hands-on work experience, whether on a construction work site or professional setting of their in-demand industry training. To ensure that grantees are meeting the minimum construction requirement, and to aid in collecting data on the impact of the YouthBuild program on local communities, YouthBuild programs are required to submit an annual housing census that tracks the number of housing units completed in that reporting year for each active grant.

    To build or substantially renovate at least one unit of housing requires the new construction or substantial renovation of single-family homes or apartment/condominium/townhouse complexes, or the construction or substantial renovation of a single dwelling within a complex. Substantial renovation includes those activities that will provide YouthBuild participants with significant construction experience and knowledge that will prepare them for entry-level employment in the construction industry and connect to the construction curriculum used by the program. Painting or cleaning apartments and simple weatherization tasks do not constitute substantial renovation or a sufficiently comprehensive level of construction training to satisfy the requirement that each program build or substantially renovate a unit of housing, and thus, do not qualify as work sites. Applicants should use their selected construction curriculum as a planning resource for the proposed work sites, in order to ensure the training curriculum aligns with the skills participants can learn in hands-on work site experiences.


    Aiyana Pucci

    Aiyana Pucci
    Employment and Training Administration
    200 Constitution Ave. NW
    Washington, DC 20210
    (202) 693-3403

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are private, non-profit agencies or public agencies that serve disadvantaged youth. These organizations include rural, urban, or Native American agencies that have previously served disadvantaged youth in a YouthBuild or other similar program. This may include but is not limited to:

    • Community and faith-based organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit status;
    • An entity carrying out activities under WIOA, such as a local workforce development board or one-stop center partner program;
    • Educational institutions, including a local school board, public school district, or community college;
    • A community action agency;
    • A State or local housing development agency;
    • Any Indian and Native American entity eligible for grants under Section 166 of WIOA, including Federally and other than Federally-Recognized Tribes, Native American non-profit organizations, and Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native organizations;
    • A community development corporation;
    • A State or local youth service conservation corps; and
    • Any other public or private non-profit entity that is eligible to provide education or employment training under a Federal program and can meet the required elements of the grant.

    Note that applicants previously funded by DOL's YouthBuild program, but not within the past seven grant competitions (i.e. the applicant has not received a YouthBuild award since FY 2011 or earlier), will be considered as new applicants.

    Deadline Details

    Applications were to be submitted by February 9, 2021. A similar deadline is anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    Up to $89,000,000 is available in total funding for FY21 for up to 75 awards. Awards will last for 40 months, including a 4-month planning period. Awards will range between $700,000 and $1,500,000. Cost matching of 25% is required. These funds may be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions (so long as the in-kind contributions are for items normally allowable with the purchase of grant funds). Further, the DOL encourages applicants to leverage additional resources beyond the required match to supplement grant activities.

    NOTE: In FY21, at least 50% of funding will be awarded to previously funded YouthBuild projects and have demonstrated success in the program. The remaining funding will be awarded to new applicants. 

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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