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Workforce board awarded $1.5 million to serve local dropout youth

MARTINSVILLE, VA – The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded the West Piedmont Workforce Development Board $1,500,000 to implement a three-year program to prepare local dropout youth for better futures.

The West Piedmont YouthBuild program will serve disadvantaged, skill-deficient and dropout youth ages 16 to 24 in the counties of Henry, Patrick, and Pittsylvania and the cities of Danville and Martinsville, according to a press release from Virginia Career Works.

Training to help youth earn a GED or high school diploma and develop their basic skills such as personal effectiveness of teamwork, leadership, and interpersonal skills, anger and anxiety management, social and emotional intelligence, and grit will be provided by the West Piedmont Regional Adult Education program.

Participants will be trained to obtain employment that leads to self-sufficiency in an identified construction or healthcare career.

In conjunction with Patrick & Henry Community College’s FastForward training, participants will earn credentials in the construction or healthcare industries.

In construction, participants will receive training to earn the NCCER Core credential and for healthcare, participants will get training to earn the nursing assistant certification.

Upon completion, participants can transition into employment or advanced education at P&HCC or other colleges.

In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, participants will help construct a house.

“This is a great day for our organization and the communities we serve. YouthBuild is the largest grant in the history of the West Piedmont Workforce Development Board. I thank God for granting us this chance to impact the many lives that need our help. I cannot thank our partners and our team enough for the tireless effort they put in that make days like this possible. This opportunity will transform lives in this area for years to come and this will be a springboard for more funding like this,” said Virginia Career Works West Piedmont CEO Tyler Freeland.

This program is being launched from the Guided Career Exploration program funded by The Harvest Foundation.

Enrollment will begin in October.

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