New YouthBuild Program offers GED and Hands-on Training

High school dropouts seeking to complete their education and gain a foot-up in the job market can now take advantage of a new opportunity that involves an innovative approach to learning and career training that was launched in Allentown in March by a collaboration of community organizations. As a result of their involvement in YouthBuild Allentown, youth will complete their GED or graduate high school, enroll in postsecondary training specific to their career interests, find and retain employment, and develop life skills and competencies leading to productive livelihoods and community leadership.

YouthBuild Allentown was the inspiration of Valley Youth House and we recruited other organizations to make the program a reality.  On partner in the project is Housing Association & Development Corporation (HDAC), a nonprofit housing developer that for four decades has been renovating blighted and vacant houses in Allentown.  Youth report to the HDAC job-site to received on-the-job training. Valley Youth house, along with Communities in Schools, are directing participant recruitment, screening, case management, life and leadership skills development and community service projects.  Lehigh Carbon Community College will provide the students’ GED preparation, the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute provides instruction on construction technology and professional certifications, and the CareerLink program at the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board provides job-readiness training and placement.

YouthBuild Allentown is a planning affiliate member of YouthBuild USA, a program that began in East Harlem in 1978 and has grown into a worldwide network of more than 340 locally controlled programs in the US and 21 other countries.  All programs follow the innovative model of providing a high school graduation credential combined with on-the-job training and leadership development.

Out-of-school students between the ages of 16-24 can enroll in YouthBuild Allentown through the Allentown ReEngagement Center at the Allentown School District’s William Penn Building at 401 Allen Street or 484 425 2582.

Read more about YouthBuild in the media!