Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has announced that a $1.1 million federal YouthBuild grant will be used to help prepare Poughkeepsie area youth for jobs in the emerging green energy sector. The grant has been awarded to Nubian Directions II, Inc. of Poughkeepsie, New York. It will fund a partnership with Dutchess Community College’s pre-green construction program aimed at preparing area students for careers with photovoltaic and geothermal energy. In addition to providing occupational training, the program will also assist the high school aged students with obtaining their diplomas or GEDs.
“An important component of bringing green jobs to our area is ensuring that our workforce is properly trained and ready to take on these new careers,” said Hinchey. “This YouthBuild grant will help area youth obtain their high school diplomas or GEDs, while also providing the occupational training necessary to help these students become gainfully employed. It’s a win-win situation for Hudson Valley employers and Poughkeepsie-area youth. As a longtime supporter of the YouthBuild program, I couldn’t be more pleased.”
“This grant will make it possible for the New Directions YouthBuild AmeriCorps Partnership to continue playing a pivotal role providing low-income young adults, ages 16-24, with academic and vocational training and employment opportunities in Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County,” said Robert Wright, Nubian’s President. “The program serves as a beacon of hope and a ray of sunshine for many local youth who have grown too familiar with the dark clouds of joblessness and despair.”
Several area organizations will also assist with the program, including Hudson River Housing, the Department of Social Services, Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board, Dutchess County Probation, Builders Association of the Hudson Valley, Community Action Partnership, One Stop Center, Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Family Services, Rotaract and the City of Poughkeepsie.
YouthBuild assists out-of-school youth in obtaining their diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the construction industry. The Labor Department has administered YouthBuild since 2006, awarding its first grants in 2007. In that time, more than 16,000 young people have participated in programs in 45 states and the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. YouthBuild participants include individuals who have been in the juvenile justice system, youth aging out of foster care, high school dropouts and others. In addition to receiving academic and occupational skills training, young people develop leadership skills and participate in community service opportunities.