Guest post by LaTonya Brown, Legislative Aide
Sally and I visited YouthBuild, a nationally recognized pre-apprentice construction training program housed at the Georgetown campus of South Seattle College. This was an amazing and heartfelt tour that every public agency contractor and labor group should invest the time to attend. We were joined on the tour by other City of Seattle staff. King County, Sound Transit, Port of Seattle, Port Jobs, Turner Construction and Mortenson Manson, the prime contractor on the Seawall.
What is YouthBuild?
YouthBuild, part of YouthCare, is a 6-month paid pre-apprenticeship construction training program designed to help young adults earn a GED while establishing a clear path to a high-paying career in the construction industry. Participants have to be 18-24 years old, low-income and out of school but seeking a diploma, and legally authorized to work in the United States. As a part of the program, participants receive educational support, job readiness, community service and leadership training skills while getting real money and real experience.
Why is it important?
Young people need a goal to work towards that produce real results and portable skills into future. Programs such as YouthBuild give young people who are often faced with systemic and racial barriers a chance to become their own advocates by becoming self-efficient in ways some young people thought was impossible. With the recently passed Priority Hire legislation, the tour was a great starting place to see the impact and vision come true for so many young adults who want to work in the construction field in Seattle.
How to get involved
Young people who come to YouthBuild come for a variety of reasons and from a variety of places in the city. These youth are looking to better themselves and are ready to take the next step in their lives. If you are a young adult wanting to make a commitment to work, education, and your community, YouthBuild may be right for you.
We’re particularly excited about YouthBuild’s success since they will be one of the pre-apprentice programs feeding people into the new Priority Hire program. Through Priority Hire, YouthBuild grads will test into the trade or craft of their choice and become full-fledged apprentices on the way to journey-level careers. That means better pay, benefits and meaningful work to support themselves and their families.
What a great presentation and tour led by YouthBuild cohorts! I was proud to be invited!