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Problem Based Learning

Problem Based Learning: Collaborative, Student-Driven Learning in Real-World Contexts

Posted On: Apr 16, 2019 12:42 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Signpost reading Dream Job against sky
Building Quality Work Experiences to Promote Strong Career Pathways

Meaningful, hands-on work experience is an integral part of developing a strong career pathway for YouthBuild participants.  These opportunities are an essential element of the YouthBuild program, a culmination of career preparation before the end of active programming. 

Posted On: Sep 30, 2020 9:09 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Posted On: Apr 28, 2021 1:25 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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WIOA in Year Three - What Do YouthBuild Programs Need to Know?

As September marks the start of yet another grant class of YouthBuild grants, it seems like a good time for us to provide a refresher on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and the requirements it places on YouthBuild grantees.

Posted On: Sep 19, 2017 11:20 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

For Instructors
Making Shifts for Reaching Higher levels of Learning

(Written by Jason Marshal, Director of Education at YouthBuild USA) YouthBuild instructors are working to help YouthBuild learners reach higher standards on GED (General Educational Development), HiSET (High School Equivalency Test), TASC (Testing Assessing Secondary Completion), and high school diploma assessments across the country.  New tests more closely aligned with Common Core State Standards(CCSS) require educators to incorporate a range of instructional shifts into their classrooms.

Posted On: Apr 16, 2019 9:11 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

YouthBuild Student smoothing cement on wall
North America’s Building Trades Unions’ Building Trades Multi-Craft Core Curriculum

By Guest Blogger Daryl Wright, Vice President of Partnerships at YouthBuild USA

Posted On: Jun 11, 2018 2:59 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Machine Shop
Evolving Apprenticeship Pathways at YouthBuild

When developing career pathways for YouthBuild participants, meaningful, hands-on work experience has always been integral to YouthBuild’s consistently evolving approach.  Apprenticeship, a form of work-based learning, provides this type of invaluable experience by integrating paid work experience, classroom instruction, and a nationally recognized, portable credential.

Posted On: Nov 20, 2020 2:28 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Experienced worker helping Apprentice in machine shop
Leveraging Relationships with Offices of Apprenticeships to Promote Partnerships and Pathways

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is designed, in part, to connect out-of-school youth to education and jobs. Under WIOA, YouthBuild programs are considered pre-apprenticeship models, with a goal of connecting youth participants to jobs by preparing them for, and connecting them to, future apprenticeships.

Posted On: Nov 19, 2018 1:55 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Support Group
Beyond Case Management


Posted On: Oct 06, 2020 1:45 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Cash, credit card and Demand for Payment
Promoting Financial Literacy at Your Program

As YouthBuild programs prepare their young people to be ready to work, they also have a significant responsibility to provide sound financial education to ensure that youth become financially competent, confident, and secure.  Providing formal financial capability and literacy curricula that is intentional is essential in assisting the next generation of workers to make informed financial decisions and plan for their future security. 

Posted On: Apr 09, 2020 10:36 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Student at whiteboard completing equation
Teaching and Learning Using Instructional Design

The participants in YouthBuild programs have dropped out of traditional secondary education for many reasons, but often it is because the traditional educational setting was not effective in addressing their instructional needs and learning styles.  YouthBuild plays a vital role in assisting our youth in improving basic academic skills, attaining a high school diploma or high school equivalency credential, and becoming ready to work.  

Posted On: Sep 11, 2020 11:39 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Sad young man sitting by window
Substance Use, Trauma, and Other Challenges: Effective Case Management Strategies

DOL YouthBuild Newsletter: June 2019 Edition

Posted On: Jun 19, 2019 9:12 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Booted bottem half of person on ladder
Property Maintenance as a Career Pathway for YouthBuild Graduates

Property managers handle the maintenance of rental buildings and grounds, work to resolve tenant issues, and take care of finances associated with the property. This work can include repairing equipment, painting, electrical work, and HVAC maintenance, among other tasks.  Careers in property management can include management of small stand-alone apartment buildings or working for management companies that oversee maintenance of large commercial or industrial properties. 

Posted On: Jul 24, 2020 2:47 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Posted On: Jan 13, 2020 8:24 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Planning for Program Implementation: Partnership Engagement

No YouthBuild program can succeed without partners.  Partnership engagement is essential to maintain throughout the life and across all areas of your program. It is important to engage those who help to fund your program, those who provide key components of programming, and those you engage for a presentation, internship, work experience, and placement. Key examples of potential partnerships include (but are not limited to) the following:

Posted On: Mar 12, 2020 8:47 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Two-businesswomen-working-on computer.png
Quality Staffing and Resources for Staff Roles

YouthBuild program success isn’t possible without exceptional staff who effectively collaborate with each other to build a strong program. As any YouthBuild program staff member knows, it is uniquely challenging and rewarding work. Each staff member has core duties specific to their role, but they also have responsibilities to reinforce the larger career pathway activities that intersect in important ways through their work with their colleagues, participants, and partners. 

Posted On: Jul 09, 2020 1:20 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Achieving Sustainability at Your YouthBuild Program

Many YouthBuild programs depend largely on one or two funding sources, which makes it challenging to sustain the program for long-term growth. Programs can be at risk of having to reduce services or even having to close when major sources of funding are lost.  Successful YouthBuild programs have diversified funding sources and have established solid partnerships with other local community-based organizations that provide similar services.

Posted On: Apr 16, 2019 8:29 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Posted On: Feb 15, 2017 11:35 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Utilizing Partnerships and Diversifying Funds to Achieve Sustainability

This month’s webinar and newsletter are focused on sustainability – a topic that can seem overwhelming, but with focused attention is actually quite simple. What is sustainability? It’s the ability to implement programming over time, and it’s accomplished by creating an organizational plan for long-term fiscal and programmatic health.

Posted On: Aug 09, 2018 10:44 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Building Your Toolbox for Success: Key Reminders for Program Planning

As you know, the daily operation of a YouthBuild program requires intentional planning and continuous quality improvement in order to meet the needs of youth participants and the demands of grant requirements.  The real-world implementation of the program proposal that won the DOL YouthBuild grant requires many diverse tools and resources.

Posted On: Sep 10, 2018 11:26 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Baker squeezing dollops of pink cookie dough on a cookie sheet
Contruction Plus Framework: Strategies for Program Alignment

This month’s newsletter focuses on Construction Plus, the YouthBuild model that offers occupational skills training beyond construction. First offered as a training option in 2013, Construction Plus (also known as C+) is an addition to the YouthBuild model that allows for the expansion of occupational skills training into industry-recognized certifications beyond the required construction training.

Posted On: Jun 07, 2018 8:39 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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DOL YouthBuild Newsletters 2018: Year in Review

As the end of 2018 approaches, it’s a time for reflection and forward thinking.  Below, we review the information that we have shared with the monthly newsletters so far this year.  You can reflect on the information shared, as well as the connections to further archived webinar content, by selecting the links below. 

Posted On: Dec 11, 2018 3:28 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Colorful 2020 blocks
2020 Year in Review

We wish you and yours a happy New Year!  We are looking forward to our collaborative work with you, as you continue to strive to build and implement high-quality programming for the young people of your communities.  

Posted On: Jan 15, 2021 10:47 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Posted On: Dec 09, 2019 9:44 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Young Leaders at Table
Leadership Development Approach and Strategies

Leadership development is a core element of the YouthBuild model. YouthBuild program staff are charged with deepening their understanding and adoption of positive leadership development practices that support participants and alumni to have positive outcomes.  Developing leadership skills better prepares youth participants to successfully transition into and through post-secondary education and career training. 

Posted On: Apr 11, 2019 2:08 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Hand writing letter
Starting 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. Revisit your grant application’s program narrative, which becomes the grant Statement of Work (SOW), as a guide in planning and program design.

Posted On: Feb 07, 2020 12:52 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Supporting YouthBuild Students Using the YouthBuild Mentoring Model

Mentoring is one of the key roles that YouthBuild programs fill for youth participants, whether formally or informally.  The impact of a caring adult on the success of Opportunity Youth is well documented and the YouthBuild Mentoring model has been shown to have beneficial impacts.  For programs not currently using a formal mentoring practice, the information below may help to guide and focus mentoring efforts.        

Posted On: Sep 13, 2019 2:27 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Posted On: Oct 08, 2019 1:04 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Posted On: Oct 10, 2017 3:45 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Data Management Work is YouthBuild Work!

Timing is Everything

Posted On: Aug 24, 2017 10:29 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

YB Metro and Google Employees
Crucial Questions to Ask When Planning for Placement

The DOL YouthBuild TA Collaborative will soon be sharing resources to help programs make the most of the required Job Developer position.  These tools will help to lay the groundwork for understanding both the internal (participant) focused work and the external (employer/post-secondary education or training provider) focused work that must be accomplished for successful post-program placements.  

Posted On: Dec 12, 2017 10:42 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Partnering with the American Job Center Network

American Job Centers (AJCs, also known as One-Stop Centers) are the cornerstone of the public workforce system. As noted in TEGL 16-16:

Posted On: May 07, 2018 11:24 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

YouthBuild North Shore Flyer
Building Placement Success on a Sound Foundation of Staffing and Partnerships

As YouthBuild programs are placing a greater emphasis on placement and retention, the DOL YouthBuild TA Collaborative continues to support this need by providing resources designed to strengthen placement practices.

Posted On: Feb 13, 2018 9:44 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Students at Table with Job Developer
The Job Developer: A Crucial Staff Role for YouthBuild Program Success

This month we take a focused look at the role of the job developer and how best to utilize this staff member.  There are many misconceptions related to the job developer function; most prevalently, that it is a role only needed after or near exit.  However, the job functions for this role start as early as the implementation phase for your program and this staff member should be working with participants the moment they come in the door and with partners the moment the job begins.

Posted On: Aug 13, 2019 7:56 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Two young people handling boxes of food at food bank
PACE YouthBuild Helps Feed New Bedford During COVID-19 Pandemic

Guest blogger Lisa Mello Frost, Director of PACE YouthBuild New Bedford

Posted On: Jun 10, 2021 11:34 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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WIOA and the Role of Career One-Stops

The Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Role of Career One-Stops

Posted On: Apr 16, 2019 9:25 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Grant Class 2016 Calendar Chart
DOL YouthBuild 2016-2017 WIOA Performance Updates and Timing

We are finally starting to collect early performance data on WIOA outcomes!  While there is still much work to do – both in ensuring more accurate and prompt reporting and in developing the system capabilities to support WIOA performance outcomes – we are excited to see the first information on how YouthBuild grantees are adjusting to these new metrics.

Posted On: Jan 11, 2019 9:43 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

MIS Explanation Picture with Cohort Lengths and Follow-Up Period
DOL YouthBuild and WIOA Reporting

Data is a valuable resource at your YouthBuild program - it is one of the most important ways you tell your story. Each YouthBuild program is different, serving different student populations, with different resources available, using a different approach to implement the program model. But data management, technology, and online reporting tools are an increasingly important part of every YouthBuild program’s work — in fact, it is required!

Posted On: Jan 17, 2018 3:28 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Case Management

Case Management: Keeping YouthBuild Participants and Staff Focused on Teaching, Learning, and Positive individual and Community Empowerment

Posted On: Mar 25, 2019 10:38 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Trauma-Informed Care

According to a survey on adverse childhood experiences by the National Survey of Children’s Health, “almost half the nation’s children have experienced at least one or more types of serious childhood trauma.” As YouthBuild practitioners, you’ve seen this first hand in your programs. Note the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s definition of trauma:

Posted On: Apr 16, 2019 9:20 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Students doing work in classroom
Universal 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. 

Posted On: Jul 17, 2019 8:33 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Students working together
Increased Learner Engagement: Strategies for Education Credential Attainment

YouthBuild programs are always seeking to adopt teaching strategies that are engaging and relevant to YouthBuild participants. These Opportunity Youth are vulnerable learners with complex needs. The critical hope is that the teaching strategies lead to positive student outcomes such as attaining a high school diploma or high school equivalency (HSE) credential.

Posted On: Oct 16, 2020 11:24 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Designing an Effective and Inclusive Virtual Learning Environment

Over the past year, when in-person engagement was not possible due to pandemic restrictions, many YouthBuild programs transitioned to virtual learning and programming as a strategy to provide services to participants. As states begin to ease restrictions, YouthBuild programs may continue to use virtual learning environments to meet participant needs. 

Posted On: May 28, 2021 11:52 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Leadership in the Trades

  “Community service and youth leadership are core aspects of the YouthBuild model.” -2017 YouthBuild Funding Opportunity Announcement Youth leadership is a key component of the YouthBuild model for very good reason.

Posted On: Apr 18, 2017 3:09 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Man Shaking hand at Job Interview
Utilizing Sector Strategies in Developing Career Pathways

Sector Strategies engage a system-wide approach to collaborating across a local or regional labor market to support workforce development.  For YouthBuild programs, taking a sector strategy approach to developing career pathways in in-demand industries means understanding the hiring needs of employers in the sector, connecting these employers to the labor force supplied by YouthBuild, and providing high-quality training to ensure YouthBuild participants can compete for these jobs.

Posted On: Jun 30, 2021 10:28 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Construction Manual front
How 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. A strong construction program must adhere to the pre-apprenticeship model to ensure successful implementation.  The pre-apprenticeship model allows for integration of the training component into the educational and leadership components of YouthBuild.

Posted On: May 15, 2019 8:51 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Documentation Requirements and Key Guidance

The process for how YouthBuild staff will document participant eligibility, track progress, and document participant outcomes should be created and shared within the team before any participant enrollments occur. YouthBuild staff are required to document both participant eligibility and all performance outcomes that occur during the participant’s time in the program and in the first 12 months after program exit. 

Posted On: Mar 30, 2017 10:02 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

YouthBuild Students on Construction Site
Partnering with Workforce Development Agencies to Promote Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship is an earn-while-you-learn training model in which YouthBuild graduates can gain valuable work experience while receiving related technical instruction. Apprenticeships may last from one to six years.

Posted On: Nov 13, 2017 8:30 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Apprenticeship Toolkit
Connecting to Registered Apprenticeship Pathways: Registered Apprenticeship Toolkit

Connecting to Registered Apprenticeship Pathways for YouthBuild raises awareness for YouthBuild program staff in understanding Registered Apprenticeship, the benefits of creating a Registered Apprenticeship career pathway for youth, and methods for developing and strengthening partnerships that will advance participants’ transition to advanced training and employment with livable wages.

Posted On: Apr 16, 2019 8:32 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

DOL YouthBuild Resource Image
Understanding Match Requirements for Your YouthBuild Grant

Whether you are in the second or third year of your YouthBuild grant, or are just beginning to implement program services under your 2016 award, meeting the match requirement necessitates a thorough understanding of the definition of match as well as clarity on allowable and unallowable costs.

Posted On: Jan 09, 2017 10:38 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Two men on construction site
Building a Construction Career Pathway at Your YouthBuild Program

Construction career pathways are intended to expand the number of trained participants who have the skills required by employers in the construction industry, benefiting the economy and providing employment that offers a sustainable, livable wage. 

Posted On: May 11, 2020 3:38 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Posted On: Nov 13, 2019 8:29 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Two men cooking in restaurant kitchen
Construction Plus Framework

For DOL YouthBuild programs, 2019 is quickly becoming known as “the year of Construction Plus” and with more YouthBuild sites running C+ programming, it is an important time to review the C+ program model and its accompanying framework.

Posted On: Oct 20, 2020 11:47 AM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Mentor and YouthBuild Student Mentee
Celebrating the Power of Mentorship

January is National Mentoring Month!  Organizations across the country are celebrating the power of relationships to effect positive change in the lives of young people, raise awareness of the mentoring movement, and take the opportunity to thank inspiring mentors. We hope you will join us in highlighting the benefits of mentoring, discussing best practices for supporting young people, and sharing your inspiring stories!

Posted On: Dec 17, 2021 1:05 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

Four PACE participants at recruitment table
PACE YouthBuild New Bedford Holds Pop-up Recruitment Events

This past summer PACE YouthBuild New Bedford (MA) began conducting pop-up recruitment events.  It started with the program hosting a recruitment table at National Night Out, a community event in the city, and quickly transitioned to regular pop-up events. 

Posted On: Dec 17, 2021 1:24 PM
Posted By: Lisa Reddy

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Rethinking Recruitment: Partnerships and Strategies

The success of a YouthBuild program is evident when the program achieves strong program outcomes for participants by helping them to attain educational and vocational credentials, as well as an education and/or employment placement that is a on a career pathway towards a sustaining wage and upward mobility.

Posted On: Feb 26, 2019 8:14 AM
Posted By: Margaret Lamb


When the pandemic drove school and employment online overnight, we found that, in some ways, the virtual space accommodated what we never thought it could; in others, it failed to live up to expectations. The abrupt transition created unique challenges for the 636,000 apprentices in the U.S. and the program practitioners, who were required to quickly rethink how to provide job training and hands-on experience. So, what have we learned about the virtual space’s impact on the apprenticeship model?

Posted On: Dec 13, 2021 10:28 AM
Posted By: Damon Jones