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The Elizabeth Housing Authority is one of 68 organizations nationwide awarded a federal YouthBuild grant to prepare unemployed young adults for jobs in construction and other in-demand industries through apprenticeships and other pathways.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that it was awarding grants ranging from $700,000 to $1.5 million to organizations that will deliver job training and employment services, especially for jobs that support clean energy technology. The Elizabeth Housing Authority, which runs a jobs training program for city residents, is one of several groups awarded the top $1.5 million grant.

Participants will engage in classroom learning that will prepare them for work-based learning opportunities building and rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in their communities. Participants will split their time between workplace training and the classroom, where they will earn a high school diploma or equivalent degree to prepare for postsecondary opportunities.

Administered by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, the latest YouthBuild grants advance equitable career pathway opportunities, quality jobs and climate sustainability by supporting programs that provide construction skills focused on green building techniques, including understanding sustainable building materials, solar panel installation, weatherization processes and the use of Energy Star appliances.

These grants further President Joe Biden’s Justice40 Initiative that commits to delivering at least 40% of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities, according to the DOL.

For the first time, the YouthBuild funding opportunity announcement included criteria that awarded bonus points for applicants that demonstrated their ability to provide training in green construction techniques, training the next generation of workers for resilience and clean energy careers of the future.

YouthBuild programs also train young people for employment in healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and logistics, culinary arts and hospitality.

Learn more about the YouthBuild program.