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Birmingham To Receive $1.5M To Train Youth in Public Housing For Jobs

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The Birmingham Times

The Housing Authority of Birmingham District (HABD) and the Bessemer Housing Authority will receive $1.5 million each in grants from the Department of Labor (DOL) for job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth, said U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell.

The greater Birmingham region will receive more than $4.2 million in grant funding which was awarded through DOL’s YouthBuild program. The grants are used to support the development of apprenticeship and other career pathway models that prepare at-risk youth for jobs in construction and other industries.

The programs also train young people for employment in health care, information technology, manufacturing and logistics, culinary arts, and hospitality.

“This is a monumental win for our agency,” said HABD Board Chairman Dr. Anthony Hood. “This award allows us to equip our most promising youth with the tools needed to thrive in an ever-competitive workforce. The demand for skilled trades and apprenticeships has never been stronger, and this grant allows us to place our young people on a direct path to the careers of the future.”

HABD Interim President and CEO Dontrelle Young Foster said the grant allows the agency to “seek out those youth and give that hope back to them . . . Often, when a child drops out of school, society takes it as a sign that they have given up hope that life can get any better for them. With this award, HABD can prepare residents for quality jobs and promote the attainment of skills necessary for success in this knowledge-based economy. This is a win not only for the clients we serve at HABD but also for the entire City of Birmingham. ”

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.

Sewell said the grants connect at-risk youth with job training and education. “This funding will provide our most vulnerable young adults with the resources they need to succeed, all while growing our green energy workforce,” she said.

Courtney Coleman, Executive Director of the Bessemer Housing Authority, said, “We believe these funds along with our community partners will work together to ‘Build Better Lives’ and ‘Deliver Hope’, which is the mission here at the Bessemer Housing Authority.

“We are delighted to be awarded the Department of Labor YouthBuild Grant to help provide the youth of Bessemer, Alabama with additional resources, furthering their education and preparing them to become productive citizens in our community.”

Learn more about the YouthBuild program.