ALLENTOWN, Pa. | Thanks to YouthBuild Allentown, young men and women who dropped out of high school are getting a chance to complete their education and receive hands-on training that will boost their employment prospects.
YouthBuild is an international program that works with low-income youth to build affordable housing. The nonprofit is making its Lehigh Valley debut with a class of six students and the support of multiple partners, including Lehigh Career & Technical Institute. Launched in March, the program was publicly announced Thursday, June 30 during an event attended by more than 60 community leaders at Center City’s Dime restaurant.
LCTI is providing participants with the construction training they need to earn professional certifications. The students are using their newfound skills to renovate fire-ravaged properties donated by the Allentown Redevelopment Authority.
Allentown-based Valley Youth House spearheaded the push to bring YouthBuild to the region and recruited other organizations to join in the effort. In addition to LCTI, Housing Association & Development Corporation, Communities in Schools, Lehigh Carbon Community College and Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board all play vital roles in the program. Through Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Assistance Program, QNB and The Provident Bank made major donations that funded YouthBuild Allentown’s launch.
Out-of-school students ages 16 to 24 are eligible to participate in YouthBuild Allentown. Visit the Allentown ReEngagement Center at Allentown School District’s William Penn Building, 401 Allen St., to enroll or learn more by calling 484-425-2582.