Jóvenes de YouthBuild Piden Apoyo al Condado de Los Ángeles

April 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Alrededor de 200 adultos jóvenes se reunieron afuera de la Junta de Supervisores el martes, con la esperanza de convencer al condado para apoyar un programa de trabajo y desarrollo para jóvenes.

Ondeando pancartas que decían “Trabajos no cárceles” y con camisetas con la palabra “imparable”, la exuberante multitud marchó desde la plaza Pershing Square como parte del Día Mundial de YouthBuild.

YouthBuild es un programa nacional de desarrollo de jóvenes basado en la comunidad que ofrece a personas de bajos ingresos de 16-24 años de edad la oportunidad de terminar la preparatoria y obtener un diploma, entrenamiento para trabajos—usualmente en la construcción—y eventualmente convirtiéndose en líderes comunitarios.

La organización recibe fondos federales y la supervisora Hilda Solís, quien supervisó el programa durante su mandato como secretaria del Trabajo bajo la administración Obama salió de la reunión de la junta para mostrar su apoyo.

“Es muy bueno ver a un grupo tan grande y comprometido llamar la atención de la necesidad urgente en Estados Unidos para la oportunidad para nuestros jóvenes”, dijo Solís después.

“He visto de primera mano cómo YouthBuild ha ayudado a crear vías de oportunidad”.

Los organizadores del grupo dicen que es tiempo para que el condado intervenga con apoyo financiero. Están pidiendo $15 millones para ayudar a financiar 21 programas en todo el condado.

“Podemos ayudar al condado a reconstruir la comunidad”, Rossie Johnson, presidenta del Colaborativo YouthBuild Región de Los Ángeles, le dijo a City News Service en los escalones del Hall of Administration.

Johnson dijo que los programas de YouthBuild pueden proporcionar soluciones a los múltiples problemas del condado, incluyendo la necesidad de vivienda asequible. En un momento en que el condado está reevaluando sus esfuerzos de justicia juvenil, YouthBuild también da a jóvenes adultos que salen de la cárcel o detención de menores las habilidades que necesitan para tener éxito en la comunidad.

“Estamos muy bien con las poblaciones de reentrada”, dijo Johnson, haciendo alarde de una tasa de reincidencia del 1 por ciento bajo un programa reciente de subvención.

Más tarde, dentro de la sala de audiencia de la junta, uno de los estudiantes de YouthBuild llamó a la organización “un hogar para la redención”, diciendo a los supervisores que al pasar por los campamentos de los desamparados por la tarde fue un recordatorio de lo que pudo ser.

Otro joven, Marco Antonio Vivar, dijo que sin YouthBuild él “estaría en una celda de cárcel o estaría en un ataúd”, pero en cambio es parte del liderazgo de la organización y se graduará con una licenciatura en ciencias de la computación e ingeniería.

A nivel estatal, el 13,8 por ciento de los jóvenes de 16 a 24 años de edad están fuera de la escuela y sin trabajo, de acuerdo a YouthBuild, pero Johnson dice que las cosas están mejorando en la industria de la construcción.

“Queremos que nuestros jóvenes tengan esos puestos de trabajo” y terminen como “ciudadanos productivos que pagan impuestos”, dijo.

A nivel nacional, YouthBuild informa que el 77 por ciento de los inscritos obtiene un diploma o certificado reconocido por la industria y el 61 por ciento consiguen un trabajo o van a la universidad.

Youth Group Call for ‘Jobs Not Jail’ Spending

April 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

About 200 young adults rallied outside the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, hoping to convince the county to support a youth jobs and development program.

Waving signs reading “Jobs Not Jails” and wearing T-shirts with the word “Unstoppable,” the exuberant crowd marched from Pershing Square as part of Global YouthBuild Day.

YouthBuild is a national community-based youth development program that offers low-income 16- 24-year-olds the chance to finish their high school diploma, train for jobs — often in construction — and ultimately become community leaders.

The organization gets federal funding and Supervisor Hilda Solis, who oversaw the program during her tenure as labor secretary for the Obama administration, stepped out of the board’s meeting to show her support.

“It’s great to see such a large and engaged group drawing attention to the urgent need in America for opportunity for our youth,” Solis said later. “I have seen firsthand how YouthBuild has helped create pathways to opportunity.”

The group’s organizers say it’s time for the county to step up with financial support. They are asking for $15 million to help fund 21 programs countywide.

“We can help the county rebuild the community,” Rossie Johnson, chair of the Los Angeles Region YouthBuild Collaborative, told City News Service on the steps of the Hall of Administration.

Johnson said YouthBuild’s programs can provide solutions to multiple county problems, including the need for affordable housing. At a time when the county is re-evaluating its youth justice efforts, YouthBuild also gives young adults leaving jail or juvenile detention the skills they need to succeed in the community.

“We’re very good with re-entry populations,” Johnson said, boasting of a 1 percent recidivism rate on a recent grant program.

Later, inside the board’s hearing room, one of the YouthBuild enrollees called the organization “a home for redemption,” telling the supervisors that walking past homeless encampments this afternoon was a reminder of what might have been.

Another, Marco Antonio Vivar, said that without YouthBuild he would have “been in a jail cell or I would have been in a casket,” but instead is part of the organization’s leadership and set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering.

Statewide, 13.8 percent of 16- to 24-year-olds are out of school and out of work, according to YouthBuild, but Johnson says things are picking up in the construction trade.

“We want our young folks to be in those jobs” and end up as “productive, tax-paying citizens,” he said.

Nationally, YouthBuild reports that 77 percent of enrollees attain a diploma or industry-recognized certificate and 61 percent get a job placement or go on to college.

‘YouthBuild’ Rally for Success

April 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

More than 100 teens and young adults marched downtown Tuesday in support of an organization that trains low-income youth to build affordable housing, community centers and schools.

Some of the participants were dressed in caps and gowns, though most wore T-shirts with the YouthBuild logo. Many carried signs touting the nonprofit’s graduation rates of 1,000 students per year.

The rally brought together several YouthBuild organizations. The 260 programs nationwide enrolled 10,000 young adults last year who had dropped out of high school, according to the nonprofit’s website. YouthBuild reports that more than three-fourths of enrollees ultimately earned their high school diploma, GED or other high-school equivalency credentials.

As an organizer shouted, “Are you ready for success?” the crowd responded with a resounding,

“Yes!”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who provided critical funding to YouthBuild in her role as labor secretary, told the crowd that she “could have been a statistic too,” because she grew up in a neighborhood where few of her peers went to college.

Getting a summer job changed that, Solis said.

“It taught me that I needed to do better,” she said, “… that I could do something with my life and give back.”

YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program that offers classroom instruction along with training in construction and other occupational skills to at-risk youth ages 16-24. Students learn on the job as they build or renovate housing for low-income residents or other community projects.

One in seven Americans aged 16-24 is not working or in school, according to a 2014 study by the Social Science Research Council.

A YouthBuild organizer urged policymakers to “keep our young people’s purpose and their goals in front of you … do not use their setbacks as an excuse to fail them.”

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