YouthBuild Programs in Dorchester and New Bedford Receive More than $2 Million in Federal Grants

WASHINGTON, DC - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and Congressmen Michael Capuano, Stephen F. Lynch, and William Keating today announced that YouthBuild programs in Dorchester and New Bedford will receive more than $2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The grants, which include $1,020,902 for Ecumenical Social Action Committee (ESAC) in Dorchester and $1,003,047 for People Acting in Community Endeavors, Inc. in New Bedford, will support programs that help young people learn occupational skills in construction and other industries. YouthBuild participants work full time building affordable housing in their communities while receiving educational support and training as they complete their high school degrees or equivalent.

"All our kids deserve a chance to succeed, and YouthBuild has a proven track record helping at-risk young people turn things around and build opportunities for their future,"Senator Warren said. "I'm happy to do my part in the Senate to support YouthBuild, and it is great to see programs in Dorchester and New Bedford receive this significant funding."

"Funding for these YouthBuild programs in Dorchester and New Bedford will give more vulnerable youth the chance to rebuild their lives by rebuilding their communities,"Senator Markey said.

"This funding will help at-risk youth in Massachusetts obtain new and valued educational and career goals, climb out of poverty and gain access to the opportunities that will help them achieve their dreams."

"The YouthBuild program gives participants the tools they need for both academic and career advancement. This federal funding means more young people will have access to the educational programs and occupational training that YouthBuild offers, establishing a strong foundation for success," said Congressman Capuano.

"PACE YouthBuild New Bedford is an innovative and effective program that has assisted countless at-risk young adults," said Rep. Bill Keating. "YouthBuild students are able to earn high school-equivalency GED, access hands-on job training, and serve their community by rehabilitating and constructing housing units in the city. For almost forty years, YouthBuild has supported our youth and contributed to our community. They are extremely deserving of this grant."

"ESAC operates the largest high school equivalency program in Boston for proven risk youth ages 16-24. This $1 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor is a game changer for our students: 50% are female, 40% are pregnant and/or parenting and 25% are court or gang involved. We are excited to partner with YouthBuild Boston, a national leader in the field, in developing a workforce service delivery model that will give our students the opportunity to hone their skills constructing much needed affordable housing in Boston," said Emily Morris Litonjua, Executive Director of ESAC.

"This is a great opportunity for a second chance for the young people in New Bedford,"said Bruce Morrell, Executive Director of PACE. "It's a wonderful partnership with the city and if not for our Congressman and Senators, the Mayor's office, and Patrick Sullivan at Housing and Community Development, this would not have happened. This is just fantastic and we are thrilled."

More information about the federal YouthBuild program is available at DOL's websitehere, and a complete list of grants awarded nationally is located here.