What is Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild?
Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild provides excellent basic adult education in reading, writing, and math for participants seeking their GED. The goal is to ensure that all eligible participants receive GED preparation, doing so with an individually based customized curriculum that is able to meet the needs of each participant. Students participate in a group-based classroom setting in order to progress their reading and mathematics skills, but take GED tests at their own pace.
Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild’s primary partner ECA, Energy Coordinating Agency, has provided a 96-hour NCCER (National Center for Construction Education & Research) core curriculum to the students since 2009. The courses include hands-on meaningful learning opportunities and training in carpentry, plumbing, and electrical. Students earn industry recognized certifications such as OSHA-10, Forklift Operator, and PennDot Flagger Certification. This hands on experience plus industry recognized certifications are what motivates and empowers youth to begin their career in construction and similar trades.
At Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild, being a YouthBuild student also means being an AmeriCorps member. Being an AmeriCorps member means making a commitment to make our people safer, stronger and healthier. The primary service opportunities our members engage in are related to construction – hence the “build” in “YouthBuild.” Being an AmeriCorps member is a massive resume booster and helps young adults develop invaluable leadership skills. Upon the completion of 450 hours of service, members receive an educational award that can be applied towards future education, like college or trade school.
Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild firmly believes in taking a holistic approach to improving the lives of individuals, and therefore each student is served by the Case Manager. Students can get help with access to resources, such as help for young parents, access to youth mentors, access to services that provide basic needs such as food and housing, peer mediation, services that provide counseling, health services resources, and so much more. Intensive Case Management for each student helps to support the success of individuals at Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild.
Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild works diligently to ensure each student is not only qualified for a job, but is prepared for a career. Skills our students work on include identifying skills and interests, resume building, interview techniques and etiquette, goal-setting, and making sure each student is a competitive and outstanding candidate. Our Career Services Coordinator works to make sure that not only do students have both the hard and soft skills necessary to be successful, such as transitioning their mind-sets from thinking about a job, into preparing for a career.
Upon the completion of a student's GED and Construction education component, Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild offers students the opportunity to enter into the Construction Plus program. Our Construction Plus program offers specific courses and classes that lead students to a specialized field. The first opportunity offered is Fiber Optic Cable and Data Communications Installation taught by Bicsi and CIG Inc. certified instructor Steve Ferguson. The second opportunity offered is Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) taught by Full Circle Computing. This incredible opportunity is the perfect pathway for students interested in breaking into the medical field. Lastly, students may participate in Project Y.E.S. YouthBuild’s newly developed Creative Centers, offering pathways to many creative industry fields.
Post Secondary Education
After one year in the program, students will have earned their GED, earned their construction certifications, and completed their AmeriCorps service hours. The second year of the program is all about “follow-up.” While in follow-up, a student may choose to further their education at an institution of higher learning. The Career Services Coordinator works with the students every step of the way to provide advocacy, help students change their mindset, and master life skills necessary for college and trade school. Staff will guide students as they research college, meet admittance councils, fill out FAFSA, apply for grants, and complete college and trade school applications.