The U.S Department of Labor recently announced the award of nearly $80 million in YouthBuild grants to support a pre-apprenticeship training program for at-risk youth. The Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps (LCC)/YouthBuild Fresno received a three year, $1.1 million grant, the highest amount awarded per site.
According to U.S. Department of Labor, the grants range from $650,000 to $1.1 million and will fund 77 YouthBuild programs in 46 states. There are 260 YouthBuild programs operating around the country.
Local congressmen supported the need for additional resources in the Central Valley for vocational training purposes;
Congressman Jim Costa, CA-16 (D), says; “For years now, YouthBuild Fresno has been increasing economic opportunities for our at-risk youth through education that balances the cultivation of academic skills, hands-on learning, job training, and personal development. Fresno EOC’s YouthBuild program is good for the future of both our students and the entire Central Valley, and I look forward to seeing the program’s continued positive impacts on our Valley community.”
According to Congressman David Valadao, CA-21 (R), “The programs provided through the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (Fresno EOC), including YouthBuild, are absolutely critical to our Central Valley community. With this additional funding, Fresno EOC will provide career training to sixty-six Central Valley residents between 18 and 24 years-old. Not only will these young adults receive resources and training they need to pursue a career, YouthBuild Fresno will partner with Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) to build homes and sustain communities for those less fortunate.”
“The nation and the region’s ability to reconnect unemployed and undereducated young adults is essential to economic productivity,” said John Valverde, CEO of YouthBuild USA. “YouthBuild’s comprehensive model has the ability to change lives and improve communities.”
Kristine Kassahn, CEO Fresno Surgical Hospital, puts it this way, “The Sterile Processing Technician training class will provide an invaluable service to the Central San Joaquin Valley healthcare community (serving Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties). This position plays a vital role in the maintenance of cleanliness, functionality and inventory of healthcare instruments and equipment. The technicians provide physicians, nurses and allied health professionals with access to sterile instrumentation and equipment as needed to ensure patient safety and avoidance of infections.”
According to California Economic Development Department jobs for Sterile Processing Technicians (SPTs) are anticipated to grow by 16.9% by 2024. The median wage for this position is over $45,000 annually, and Fresno is among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation in terms of pay for SPTs according to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016).
“Youthbuild transforms lives of young people by providing them with the opportunity to gain meaningful skills for careers in a growing industry. With Transformative Climate Communities, High Speed Rail, and literally hundreds of millions of educational construction funding coming on line, economic opportunities will be abundant. Through Youthbuild, Fresno EOC is very excited to be able to help some of those who struggle most to access these opportunities.” says Brian Angus, Fresno EOC CEO.
LCC Director, Shawn Riggins says, “I would like to express my thanks to the elected officials, program partners, and staff which made this grant a reality. We are eager to build upon the LCC motto of Training Tomorrow’s Leaders, Today!”
About Local Conservation Corps
Fresno EOC’s Local Conservation Corps provides young adults with employment and training plus educational opportunities through its YouthBuild Charter High School. Participants can work toward their high school diploma while learning job skills in construction, health care, landscaping, public lands, green jobs (solar and weatherization), recycling, and community clean-up. YouthBuild Fresno program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and YouthBuild, U.S.A. Participant age requirement: LCC 18-25, YouthBuild 18-24, YouthBuild Charter High School 18-24.
About Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (Fresno EOC)
Fresno EOC, a private nonprofit organization, provides opportunities and resources to low-income Fresno County residents for over 52 years. Fresno EOC offers over 35 comprehensive community-based programs that empower individuals to thrive as healthy, self-sufficient and contributing members of our communities.