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Brownsville NYCHA Youth Get $1.3M Federal Education Grant

Various apprenticeship programs will be available to people aged 16 -24.
Marcus Garvey NYCHA apartments.

The YouthBuild pre-apprenticeship program in Brownsville received a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to support Brooklyn youth growing up in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments.

YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program for youth who left high school prior to graduation and who also face other risk factors, including youth who are justice-involved, aging out of foster care, living with disabilities, experiencing housing instability, and facing other marginalized circumstances, according to a news release. 

The pre-apprenticeship program will encompass education, occupational skills training, leadership development, and post-program job placement opportunities for 60 NYCHA residents, aged 16 to 24, with the first cohort of 30 students expected to enter the program in the fall of 2024. 

NYCHA’s YouthBuild program will benefit young New Yorkers in the following NYCHA developments: Brownsville, Glenmore Plaza, Howard, Langston Hughes, Marcus Garvey, Park Rock Rehab, Ocean Hill, Ralph Avenue Rehab, Saratoga Village, Seth Low, Tapscott Street, Tilden, and Van Dyke. Youth living in NYCHA Section 8 housing within the selected zip codes will also be eligible for the program.

“As a proud son of Brownsville, I know firsthand the value of investing in our young people and the endless untapped potential that lives within the borders of the neighborhood I called home,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Our city’s future depends on our ability to help our young people grow, fulfill their potential, and thrive in an ever-changing economy."

NYCHA’s YouthBuild program will conduct two six-month cohorts of 30 students. In addition to a stipend and support services, members of each cohort will receive technical, lab, and classroom instruction on construction skills and safety training, Occupational Safety and Health Administration site safety training and National Center for Construction Education and Research construction technology credentials; hands-on construction skills application through the renovation of up to three vacant NYCHA units and High School Equivalency (HSE) instruction and career readiness support to successfully pass the HSE exam.

“As someone who grew up in NYCHA housing, partnering with NYCHA on the YouthBuild program holds a deeply personal significance for me,” said La'Shawn Allen-Muhammad, chief executive of the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation. “This collaboration represents an extraordinary opportunity to give back to the community that shaped me and supports the development of the next generation of builders and maintainers of the built environment."

The program will provide the necessary framework for graduates to excel in apprenticeships and entry-level construction positions, utilize the Section 3 federal program, which ensures training and hiring opportunities for recipients of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development financial assistance, existing partnerships, and follow the mission of the NYC Workforce Development Board to create rewarding pathways for participating youth.

The Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (CBEDC) will provide additional program management, construction training, case management, leadership development and support services. Follow-up support will be provided by the Brooklyn Public Library, which will serve as the primary education partner with their Enhanced Young Adult Literacy Program, providing HSE instruction, education support, and career and post-secondary readiness support.