From Seattle to South Africa, YouthBuild programs fill an urgent need.

Millions of young people around the world have energy, talent, and intelligence that are being wasted solely for lack of opportunity.

There are at least 2.3 million low-income 16-24 year-olds in the United States who are not in education, employment, or training*. 

Globally, over 200 million youth are working poor and earning less than $2.00 a day. All are in urgent need of pathways to education, jobs, entrepreneurship, and other opportunities leading to productive livelihoods and community leadership.

YouthBuild programs provide those pathways. All over the world they unleash the positive energy of low-income young people to rebuild their communities and their lives, breaking the cycle of poverty with a commitment to work, education, family, and community. 

At YouthBuild programs in the United States and across the globe, low-income young people learn construction skills through building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in their neighborhoods and other community assets such as schools, playgrounds, and community centers.

For unemployed young people who left high school without a diploma, YouthBuild is an opportunity to reclaim their educations, gain the skills they need for employment, and become leaders in their communities.

This movement has been created by YouthBuild USA, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works in the United States as YouthBuild USA and in all other countries as YouthBuild International (YBI). YouthBuild USA is led by its president, Sangeeta Tyagi; and YouthBuild International  by its president, Tim Cross. They are united within YouthBuild USA, Inc. led by its Founder and CEO, Dorothy Stoneman.

YouthBuild USA has built a robust network of 260 urban and rural YouthBuild programs in 46 states. They are sponsored and managed by local nonprofits, community colleges, and public agencies. Their primary funding source is the US Department of Labor (DOL) through the authorized federal YouthBuild program administered by the Employment and Training Administration at DOL. YouthBuild USA provides training and technical assistance, leadership development, funding for innovative program enhancements, and advocacy for these programs.

Through YouthBuild International (YBI), YouthBuild has been replicated by NGOs, government agencies, international development institutions, and global companies in 15 countries, where the model has been adapted for implementation in rural and urban settings, located in developing countries, emerging economies, and industrialized nations. 

YBI provides training, technical assistance and consultation to governments, bilateral and multilateral donor institutions, national and global companies, public and private sector employment systems, and  NGOs who wish to adapt the YouthBuild model for implementation in their local context.  

YBI establishes MOU and licensing agreements with each country's implementing partner. Licensed YBI country partners retain the model’s emphasis on building a caring community, and offering basic education. They provide market-relevant technical skills, preparation for self-employment and formal sector jobs, continuing technical and postsecondary education, community service, and leadership development, while adapting the model to respond to the needs and aspirations of local young people and their communities.

Core Values and Essential Program Qualities
YouthBuild’s core values and essential program qualities reflect a unique philosophical heart and spirit that distinguish the model. Program components must be suffused with these values and qualities, and staff must be trained in their meaning. At YouthBuild programs, we speak unabashedly of love, respect, and responsibility; courage, integrity, and cooperation. It’s these driving values that led the New York Times to call YouthBuild “a wellspring of human reclamation.” We believe in the power of love coupled with opportunity.


YouthBuild Charter School of California (YCSC) holds a unique place in the landscape of  California’s public charter schools. As a competency-based dropout recovery school, it seeks to provide a high school education that leads to a diploma for a distinct group of students. YCSC students, who are all between the ages of 16 to 24 years old, come from low-income families and underserved communities, and have previously left or been pushed out of the traditional school system without a diploma. They enroll at YouthBuild programs over-aged, under-credited, or both, in order to receive vocational training, counseling, leadership development and an education. 


The US Department of Labor receives an annual appropriation from Congress for the  federal YouthBuild program, which it operates effectively with close attention to quality, performance outcomes, and community need.  The federal YouthBuild appropriation for FY15 is 79.7 million dollars.

Each YouthBuild program in the United States is operated by an autonomous non-profit or public entity that secures its own funding – a mix of public and private support. The US Department of Labor is the primary public funding source. YouthBuild USA does not directly run any local programs nor does it participate in the selection of DOL YouthBuild grantees.

Roughly half of the current funding for local YouthBuild programs in the United States comes from the US Department of Labor (DOL) under the federal YouthBuild program whichwas reauthorized within the Workforce Opportunities and investment Act passed in 2014. DOL grants funds directly to the local YouthBuild program through an annual competitive process that rewards performance and prioritizes low-income communities.

There are two ways that a local non-profit or public entity can obtain the right to use the YouthBuild name.  It can win a competitive YouthBuild grant directly from DOL; or it can be licensed by YouthBuild USA as a YouthBuild program through the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network. All local non-profit and public entities are eligible to apply to DOL and/or to apply for affiliation with YouthBuild USA.

The DOL requires all YouthBuild grantees to raise a minimum of 25% in matching non-federal funds. Individual program grants range from $700,000 to $1.1 million and cover two years of programming with nine months of follow up support for about 40 students. In 2015, DOL is funding the full program year for 143 YouthBuild programs including 4,800 young people across 31 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

DOL’s eligibility requirements for YouthBuild students focus on low-income young people who have left high school without a diploma, are exiting foster care, or have been adjudicated. There is a flexible 25% waiver in order not to exclude any applicant in need of the program’s services.

YouthBuild programs licensed by YouthBuild USA that do not win one of the limited competitive grants from the DOL must raise all their funds from other public and private sources.  This is difficult, and some of them go dormant or close for lack of funds when they do not receive a DOL grant. DOL receives many more qualified applications than it can fund, and virtually all local programs receive many more youth applicants than they can accept.  This high demand and high need creates an urgent mandate for expanded federal funding.

YouthBuild was first authorized as a federal program in 1992 under Subtitle D of Title IV of the Cranston-Gonzalez national Affordable Housing Act and administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. It was transferred at the initiative of the George W. Bush administration with unanimous consent of Congress to the US Department of Labor in 2006.

On July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) within which the DOL YouthBuild program was reauthorized. This signifies a major vote of confidence in the YouthBuild model from both Republicans and Democrats in Congress, who passed this legislation with an overwhelming majority (95-3 in the Senate and 415-6 in the House of Representatives).  

Bi-partisan support over 22 years has led to a total of 1.4 billion dollars being distributed directly to hundreds of local communities for independent non-profit and public entities to produce excellent YouthBuild programs for over 130,000 young people who have produced over 28,000 units of affordable housing while working toward their own high school diploma or its equivalent and a variety of industry recognized credentials.


A Community of Friends (ACOF) was founded in 1988 with the mission to end homelessness through the provision of quality permanent supportive housing for people with mental illness.

ACOF’s philosophy is to collaborate with community-based service agencies in offering tenants a variety of on-site supportive services. Through this model ACOF has been able to provide housing for homeless, disabled and very low-income persons—creating permanent, affordable housing and an environment that promotes stability.

In the past 27 years, ACOF has completed over 1,800 units in 44 properties, primarily throughout Los Angeles County; 39 of those buildings are currently in our portfolio.  We currently have one project in construction and one being rehabilitated, with another several other projects in the pipeline.


A Community of Friends’ (ACOF) mission is to end homelessness through the provision of quality permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals and families living with mental illness.



All people, regardless of their circumstances, deserve to be treated with respect and to have a home.


We provide quality housing and services as a reflection of our personal and organizational commitment.


Our projects and services promote sustainability and serve as a foundation for stability, health and well-being.



Innovative School Leadership Initiative

ISLI is a five-year federal grant that California State University, Dominguez Hills received to help turn around 30 developing high schools in Los Angeles County. Finally, 2017-18 the grant will be completed after a year of working with each schools teacher’s leaders. Selected schools will complete a comprehensive needs assessment with a profile that will determine the major needs at the site. Professional development and support will be customized for each site.

Grant progress will be measured using the same evaluation instruments that LAUSD is currently piloting and planning to use for both principals and teachers. (The Teacher Growth and Development Cycle and the School Leadership Framework). The grant will provide extensive resources and support in the following areas:

  •  Data collection and data analysis
  •  Instructional Leadership
  •  Explicit and Direct Instruction
  •  Classroom Management and Supervision
  • Managing Conflict – Developing Groups Communicative Intelligence
  •  Master Schedule Design
  •  Special Education
  • Adaptive Schools and Adaptive Leadership
  • Design Thinking
  • Additional components customized for each site.  

Each school will be provided a coach that will work collaboratively with all providers and school leadership.    


The Compton Initiative is a non-profit organization committed to bringing hope & restoration to the City of Compton.
We organize quarterly beautification projects, to transform schools, homes, grow beautiful gardens and paint inspirational murals throughout the city. We are dedicated to restoring Compton block by block increasing volunteerism, ownership and potential.

Learn more at


64th Assembly District that includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook and Wilmington.


Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services (PVJOBS) was created in 1998 as a nonprofit California corporation to provide job opportunities for at-risk individuals. It was an outgrowth of the Play Visa Project, which committed 10% of all its construction-related jobs to PVJOBS candidates.

Candidates for PVJOBS are referred by more than 130 Los Angeles community-based organizations which have partnered with PVJOBS to help those at greatest risk to secure and to maintain career-track jobs that pay a living wage. The organization serves this collaborative as a placement agency by coordinating workforce activities with participating construction project contractors. PVJOBS collaborators work together, sharing services, to provide a network of support for clients, thus greatly contributing to their success. PVJOBS believes that ongoing rehabilitation requires meaningful employment and personalized support.


Maintain accurate and comprehensive records for the City departments and facilitate the retrieval of public information in compliance with federal, state, and municipal laws.


Janice Hahn is the U.S. Representative of the 44th district of California. She was elected to Congress in a special election held in July of 2011, and re-elected in November 2012.

Congresswoman Hahn sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as well as the House Small Business Committee. She serves as Ranking Member on the Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology and was on the 2013 Select Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation. She is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Marine Transportation, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Development, and the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

Janice is a lifelong resident of Los Angeles and lives in San Pedro.  She is the daughter of the late Ramona Hahn and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and the sister of James Hahn, the former Mayor of Los Angeles.  Janice has two sons, Danny and Mark, a daughter, Katy, and five beautiful grandchildren: McKenna, Brooklyn, Isabela, Josiah, and Luke.


Special Service for Groups

Special Service for Groups, incorporated in 1952, is a nonprofit health and human service organization dedicated to building and sustaining community-based programs that address the needs of vulnerable communities.

SSG operates more than 20 divisions and programs across Southern California and in San Francisco that provide linguistically and culturally competent services to address the social, health, behavioral health and economic needs of our richly diverse multi-ethnic communities.


    LeadersUp is a 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of bridging the divide between the untapped potential of young people and the business challenge of finding and keeping the best talent. LeadersUp believes strategic investments in human capital is the key to creating an economically inclusive society. LeadersUp is a full service talent recruitment and development organization specializing in the retail, manufacturing and TDL industries, who partners with mid to large sized companies to provide a sustainable pipeline of highly motivated talent that’s customized to meet specific business needs.


    LeadersUp strives to engage businesses to connect opportunity youth to pathways that lead to middle-skilled careers, amplify business leadership that creates community impact, and develop and share innovative evidence-based practices that work. LeadersUp long-term strategic plan is to gain commitments from 100 companies to connect 5,000 young adults to career pathways across 10 U.S. markets by September 2017. Currently, LeadersUp is headquartered in Seattle, Washington and has major market presence in both Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois.


    Connecting with communities and stakeholders

    We understand the important role we play in the success of our communities and key stakeholders. The U.S. has gone through stressful times recently. On some days there seem to be more forces driving us apart than pulling us together. Wells Fargo stands for something else. We’re here to serve all of our customers, to help them succeed financially, to invest in our communities, and to help our economy grow stronger.

    The economic recovery is uneven, and many people continue to struggle. We hear from them every day in our local offices, on our phone lines, and over the internet. We also hear with increasing frequency from citizen groups, elected officials, and regulators wanting us to assume increased responsibility for solving broad-based economic challenges.


    Now is not the time to retreat but to reach out and connect with our stakeholders and communities, to listen and understand, to do what’s right, to admit mistakes and learn from them, and to tell the Wells Fargo story to as many people as we can.

    Our donations to nonprofits are at record levels. Our team member volunteer hours are at all-time highs. Our relationships with human rights, advocacy, social services, and environmental organizations are stronger than ever. We’re serving more customers, with higher levels of customer satisfaction, than at any time in our company’s history. And our financial performance has been recognized by individual and institutional investors alike, who through their investments have made Wells Fargo one of the most valuable banks in the U.S. and the world.


    The non-profit Dibble Institute promotes relationships training for youth especially in the context of dating and romantic connections. Our goal is help young people build a foundation for healthy romantic relationships now, and for lasting, positive family environments in the future. Dibble materials teach teens and young adults how to be successful in friendships, dating, and love. 

    Themes include: 

    • Dealing with emotions
    • What makes a healthy relationship
    • Recognizing dangerous relationships
    • Effective communication
    • Conflict management 
    • Low-risk dating strategies
    • The social and emotional sides of sex

    The Dibble Institute (click here to read more


    Eat.Sleep.Work. is a brand and digital design agency headquartered in El Segundo California. Founded in 2005, ESW is a collaborative of graphic designers. coders and content strategists whose mission is to create awesome brand experiences. (click here


    Essential Access Health champions and promotes quality sexual + reproductive health care for all. Essential Access Health helps teens make healthy and informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health through a variety of teen outreach programs designed to meet them where they are - online and on their phones - with medically accurate and teen-friendly information. Essential Access Health also promotes family communication by providing parents with the tools they need to talk about sexual and reproductive health with their teens. Learn more at

    The first step is: accept yourself as you are; drop all shoulds. Don’t carry any ought on your heart! You are not to be somebody else; you are not expected to do something which doesn’t belong to you — you are just to be yourself. Relax! and just be yourself. Be respectful to your individuality and have the courage to sign your own signature. Don’t go on copying others signatures.