YouthBuild’s Newest Graduating Class of Students Builds an Education, While Developing Practical Career Skills

YouthBuild, a national work-study program formed by the San Diego Labor Council in partnership with the San Diego Building Trades Council, hosted a graduation ceremony for its newest class of graduates on Friday, November 18.

Eleven students from San Diego County received high school diplomas and two students earned their General Equivalency Diploma (GED) in front on family members, friends, program instructors, and local elected officials.

The program offers students an opportunity to complete their high school education, gain hands-on construction trade experience, develop leadership skills, and give back to the community through community service.

Bill Freeman, President of the San Diego Education Association:

No one got where they are today without the help of someone. The choices we make determine the paths we take, so think about those choices.

Students learn hands-on construction skills in carpentry, electrical work, masonry, plumbing, and apartment rehabilitation by working on-site at the National City Park Apartments, an affordable housing community in National City, Calif.

Astoria Dunn, YouthBuild graduate:

This past year that I spent at YouthBuild was one of the best years of my life. My teachers were very dedicated and patient with me through the process.

Funded through the U.S. Department of Labor, YouthBuild is designed as a union pre-apprenticeship course open to adults age 18-24 without a high school diploma, where students earn industry-recognized certification through Multi-Craft Core Curriculum developed by the National Building Trades Council including CPR/First Aid and OSHA 10 certification.

YouthBuild graduates are typically placed in union apprenticeship programs and employment opportunities, and even pursue a post-secondary education as they receive 12-month follow up services to ensure their real world success.

Since the inception of YouthBuild in January 2010,
30 students have graduated from the program. Seven students are currently serving in union apprenticeships to date. Students are open to enroll on a quarterly basis and the program itself lasts approximately nine months.