Congressman Higgins Announces $1.5 Million YouthBuild Award for the Service Collaborative of Western New York
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced a $1.5 million federal grant awarded through the U.S. Department of Labor to The Service Collaborative of Western New York for their Western New York YouthBuild: Leaders Under Construction Program.
YouthBuild combines education and job skill development for at-risk youth ages 16-24. The Service Collaborative was one of only 67 grant recipients sharing $85 million in YouthBuild grants nationwide.
Congressman Higgins said, “The Service Collaborative’s YouthBuild program is guiding members through hands-on work experience, formal career certification and educational advancement, setting young people on a path to compete and thrive in the workplace. The Western New York program, under the leadership of the Service Collaborative, continues to stand out as a national model, utilizing community collaboration to produce real outcomes that change people’s lives forever.”
Kate Sarata, Executive Director of The Service Collaborative of WNY added, “It is because of our decades long commitment to young people in Buffalo that we continue to grow our youth and workforce programming. This funding will allow us to expand our portfolio of training and certification options to our participants, following the demand we see in our communities for job training for in demand industries. The participants are what drive the dedication of The Service Collaborative to always seek out more for them, giving them the tools to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
Through the Service Collaborative’s program, YouthBuild participants can choose to train and earn credentials in one of three career pathways: construction, hospitality and advanced manufacturing. The grant will support training and education for approximately 86 Buffalo youth, targeted toward residents of several City of Buffalo opportunity zones identified as distressed communities.
Students choosing the construction track will work toward earning a Home Builders Institute Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate. The Service Collaborative partners with Habitat Humanity Buffalo to provide on-site construction training for YouthBuild members.
For training in advanced manufacturing, the Service Collaborative will partner with The Foundry to facilitate training toward the goal of earning the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council Certified Production Technician certificate.
YouthBuild members interested in the hospitality career path can earn American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institutes Certified Guestroom Attendant and Front Desk Representative skills through a collaboration with Community Services For Every1.
Western New York YouthBuild participants pursue a New York State High School Equivalency Diploma through a partnership with the SUNY Erie Community College Pathways Program, and are eligible to enroll in college preparatory classes through Buffalo State College and Erie Community College.
The Service Collaborative’s YouthBuild model has proven to be highly successful; with 84% of participants earning a high school diploma and/or industry recognized certification, far outpacing the 63% graduation rate within the target service area.
To learn more about YouthBuild opportunities visit: https://www.tscwny.org/Experience-Service/WNY-YouthBuild.