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Urban League of Rochester’s YouthBuild Program Receives Generous Grant

Staff Report

Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash

The Urban League of Rochester recently received a huge grant to help underserved young adults acquire occupational skills and complete their educational degrees at the same time. 

The Department of Labor has funded the Urban League of Rochester’s YouthBuild program, with $1.1 million to provide job-related training and educational opportunities for young adults who are not currently in school.  

“This award is so much more than just funding—it’s providing hope and opportunity to young people in our community and giving them the tools to thrive,” said Congressman Joe Morelle. “By providing both apprenticeship training and academic education, Urban League’s YouthBuild program is getting young  people off the streets and onto the path to success while also strengthening our local economy.”

This grant comes as a part of the Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program, which is aimed at intense educational opportunities and job training for at-risk youth ages 16-24 who previously dropped out of high school.   More information on the program can be found at

At the Urban League of Rochester, these funds will be allocated to programs which provide Pre-Apprentice Certificate Training and Certified Manufacturing Associate Training.  The programs will also have a GED preparation component, where students will work towards completing their high school equivalency diplomas to increase participant chances of creating more career opportunities. 

Participants can receive a stipend and will gain hands-on experience building homes with Habitat for Humanity and other construction partners,  according to the Urban League or Rochester’s website. Key partners of the YouthBuild program include Monroe Community College, Flower City Habitat for Humanity, RochesterWorks and the Urban League of Rochester Economic Development Corporation (ULREDC). 

Services of the program include:

  • Intensive case management
  • GED/TASC instruction
  • Sectoral training in construction and advanced manufacturing
  • Leadership development activities
  • Job placement assistance
  • Follow-up services

Additionally, the programs will assist in the development of soft skills to ensure graduates can not only obtain but maintain employment. 

Dr. Seanelle Hawkins, President and CEO of the Urban League of Rochester said the organization is incredibly grateful for the continued advocacy of congress on behalf of our community’s youth

“This federal funding will be truly life-changing for our YouthBuild participants and their families as the Urban League supports their career development,” Hawkins said.

“It is only by making career opportunities accessible to everyone that we may begin to address the deep economic inequities in our community.”

For more information on the programs offered through the Urban League of Rochester, visit their website at