Today a new class of St. Louis YouthBuild students gathered in the St. Louis YouthBuild classroom in the St. Louis Carpenters Training Center in Affton to begin their journeys to, maybe someday, union journeymen and women.St. Louis Youthbuild is a highly-successful, alternative education program for young people ages 18-24 who are unemployed and not attending high school. The majority of participants do not have a high school diploma or high school equivalency (GED/HiSET) when they start the program. YouthBuild provides the instruction that helps the youth earn high school equivalencies.
The St. Louis YouthBuild program focuses on leadership development, financial literacy, and academic enhancement, technical skills training in construction, community service and support from staff and students committed to each other's success. There is a permanent classroom for the St. Louis YouthBuild program in the St. Louis Carpenters Training Center.
Students in the program come from all backgrounds to learn new life skills that will prepare them for a job in union construction. YouthBuild instructor, Mike Moore, an 18-year-veteran instructor for JobCorps, recently came back to work from retirement to work for YouthBuild as an instructor in construction. In the classroom, he witnesses to the students about how learning the skills of construction can not only open up doors for good-paying, secure jobs, but also how these skills help them give back to their communities. Moore guides them through the benefits of learning new trade skills, and he stresses often the importance of simultaneously earning health and pension benefits while belonging to the union and working for a union contractor.
Today's class was just the beginning for this YouthBuild class. They began with some classroom time, introduced safety gear, took tours of the St. Louis Training School and learned some hands on skills right out of the gate. Each student likely comes into the hands-on classroom with a different background, but similarly each student wants more for his or her future. YouthBuild helps them to do just that.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the YouthBuild program, call St. Louis YouthBuild at (314) 261-0202.
For more photos from today's class, visit our Facebook page.