Below is a compendium of the topics we have shared over the year,as well as links to each newsletter. These monthly newsletters contain valuable information to help strengthen different aspects of YouthBuild programs,from building apprenticeship partnerships and pathways to developing strong program models to support participants for successful program completion and placement.


After the launch of the WIOA performance reports in 2018, granteesbegandiligently submitting and resubmitting reports to close out reporting for Program Years 2016and 2017.At the beginning of 2019, we had two years of aggregated performance data tolook to for information on how the transition from WIA was working and how programs were doing in meeting the goals of WIOA.  This newsletter reviewed current WIOA grant class outcomes and the timing of performance to understand WIOA outcomes, identify early challenges, and focus on technical assistance to support stronger outcomes.


FebruaryStarting Out Strong: Using Your Grant Planning Period
Built into the DOL YouthBuild grant period of performance is a four–month planning period to support hiring activities, solidifying partnerships, and program launch activities.  Using this period,in accordance with the timeline of critical activities submitted with the grant proposal is crucial to program success.In this newsletter, we covered some of the key areas that require attention during the planning period, such as revisiting your grant application’s program narrative, which becomes the grant Statement of Work (SOW), as a guide in planning and program design.


MarchConstruction Plus Framework
This month’s newsletter described the requirements of Construction Plus, highlighting some grantee best practices and sharing resources to support effective Construction Plus programming. Even if you aren’t currently running a Construction Plus YouthBuild program, this newsletter is informative for programs that may consider expanding into Construction Plus in the future.


AprilLeadership Development Approach and Strategies
Leadership development better prepares youth participants to successfully transition into and through post-secondary education and career training. YouthBuild program staff members are charged with deepening their understanding and adoption of positive leadership development practices that support participants and alumni to have positive outcomes. This month’s newsletter detailed the approaches and competencies YouthBuild programs can utilize to develop leaders from within, including personal, small group, and community leadership competencies. 


MayHow to Successfully Integrate and Implement the YouthBuild Construction Component
Construction, a core component of YouthBuild, provides youth participants with hands-on work experience as they pursue an industry-recognized construction credential. This newsletter focused onthe use of a pre-apprenticeship model in YouthBuild’s construction component. A strong construction program must adhere to the pre-apprenticeship model to ensure successful implementation by integrating the training component into the educational and leadership components of YouthBuild.


JuneSubstance Use, Trauma and Other Challenges: Effective Case Management Strategies
YouthBuild participants may havemultiplechallenges that they bring with them at enrollment.  Recognizing and assessing the individual and personal history of each participant to effectively address these challenges before they become barriers to success requires an effective and comprehensive case management approach. This newsletterhighlightedsome of the biggest and most common challenges with which programs are presented and identifies some specific strategies to address them.  Awareness of the specialized needs of participants is integral to developing effective tools and resources to overcome them.


JulyUniversal Design for Learning: Meeting the Needs of All Learners

YouthBuild programs serve participants with multiple barriers to future employment success – the lack of a high school diploma due to struggles with traditional classroom learning is one of the largest.  Universal Design for Learning is one approach to help teach learners with diverse learning styles and comfort levels.  This newsletter highlighted the UDL approachto deeply engage and contextualize the teaching subject in an applied learning environment, whichcan help to strengthen credential attainment and measurable skill gain outcomes for YouthBuild programs.


AugustThe Job Developer: A Crucial Staff Role for Program Success
The Job Developer position can go by several different titles, including Career Specialist, Transition Coordinator, and Placement Coach, each of which emphasizes a different facet of this key role. This newsletter highlighted the key responsibilities of the Job Developer, including developing active partnerships with employers, American Job Centers (AJCs), and post-secondary institutions to support participant placement.  The Job Developer develops work experience opportunities and targeted professional training, and ensures credentialing is aligned with the needs and expectations of employers or other post-exit partners.  


SeptemberSupporting YouthBuild Students Using the YouthBuild Mentoring Model
Mentoring is an integral supportive service for YouthBuild participants.  The impact of a caring adult on the success of opportunity youth is well documented and our September newsletter highlighted a specific YouthBuild Mentoring model that has been shown to have beneficial impacts.  For programs not currently using a formal mentoring practice, the information provided may help to guide and focus mentoring efforts.

This newsletter described the natural connection betweenAmeriCorps, a voluntary civil society program supported by the Federal government through the Corporation for National and Community Service,and YouthBuild programs. The goal of AmeriCorps is to help others and meet critical unmet community needs, and these are key components of the YouthBuild model, with its focus on increasing the supply of affordable housing in local communities.  


NovemberEmerging Approaches to Apprenticeship Pathway Development
Apprenticeship is the clear focus of much of the work currently being done in YouthBuild programs across the country. This newsletter documented some of the creative and innovative ways YouthBuild programs are connecting to apprenticeship pathways. The Department of Labor has made an increase in meaningful apprenticeship placements one of our key missions and YouthBuild is an important and recognized partner in this work.  Over the last few years, we’ve seen a dramatic impact from YouthBuild programs as they’ve turned their focus to connecting to, and strengthening, apprenticeship pathways, both internally to the program and externally with partners.


DecemberSustaining and Growing Your YouthBuild Program
For many years, the Department of Labor has emphasized the importance to YouthBuild grantees not to rely on Federal grant funding for sustainability.  YouthBuild grant organizations need to plan ahead for the possibility of a period without Federal YouthBuild funding or some other portion of funding support that may be inconsistent.  The strongest organizations are those that have multiple funding options that they can control and grow independently of Congress or private foundations.  This month’s newsletter highlighted some of the innovative sustainability approaches YouthBuild programs have used successfully.



2019 WorkforceGPS Resource Highlights




Apprenticeship Resource Page