The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a $1.1 million grant to the YWCA of Western Massachusetts for a program to help high school drop outs obtain academic and job skills. WAMC”s Paul Tuthill reports
YWCA Executive director Mary Reardon Johnson said the federal funding , spread out over three years, will allow the program to double to about 60 the number of youth it can serve each year. The program is based on a national model, called YouthBuild, which recruits drop outs between the ages of 18 and 24 who may have been abused at home or been in trouble with the law.
Participates get schooling toward a GED and on-site experience building homes for non profits such as Habitat For Humanity. More than half the participants in the YWCA program are women.