Secondary Navigation

Mayor Adams, NYCHA CEO Bova-Hiatt Announce $1.3 Million Federal Grant to Support Youth in Brownsville

June 12, 2024

YouthBuild Grant Will Fund Pre-Apprenticeship Program to Support Young People with Leadership Development, Skills Training, and Job Placement Opportunities

Effort Builds on Mayor Adams’ “Spring Jobs Sprint” to Advance Opportunities for Thousands of Jobs Over Coming Weeks 

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt today announced a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to support a YouthBuild pre-apprenticeship program for youth in Brownsville, Brooklyn NYCHA developments. YouthBuild is a community-based alternative education program for youth who left high school prior to graduation and who also face other risk factors, including youth who are justice-involved, aging out of foster care, living with disabilities, experiencing housing instability, and facing other marginalized circumstances. The program will encompass education, occupational skills training, leadership development, and high-quality, post-program, job placement opportunities for 60 NYCHA residents, aged 16 to 24, with the first cohort of 30 students expected to enter the program in the fall of 2024. As the city reaches a new private-sector jobs high, with the lowest unemployment since August 2022 and the lowest Black unemployment in half a decade, Mayor Adams has kicked off a “Spring Jobs Sprint” to advance opportunities for thousands of new jobs over the coming weeks.

“As a proud son of Brownsville, I know firsthand the value of investing in our young people and the endless untapped potential that lives within the borders of the neighborhood I called home,” said Mayor Adams. “Our city’s future depends on our ability to help our young people grow, fulfill their potential, and thrive in an ever-changing economy. Helping each child succeed and achieve the career of their dreams has been a goal of our administration since day one. That is exactly what NYCHA’s $1.3 million YouthBuild program will do for young people living in NYCHA developments across Brownsville — provide them the building blocks to family-sustaining careers in the industries where we need them the most.”

“This administration has always been clear: New Yorkers should live close to jobs and economic opportunity," said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “The YouthBuild pre-apprenticeship program in Brownsville's NYCHA developments provides a great option for young community members to attain skills for careers with family-sustaining wages. This YouthBuild grant, along with Jobs NYC and community-based workforce programming, is one more way this city provides for tenants and working-class people.”

“Funding quality programming for our out-of-school, out-of-work youth is one of the most important investments we can make in the future of the city’s workforce,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Ana J. Almanzar. “The Adams administration has consistently prioritized these types of cost-effective investments through the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development’s workforce programs. This new partnership between the federal government, NYCHA, and YouthBuild is emblematic of the type of targeted, place-based strategies that we need to expand in order to ensure we are building a truly inclusive economy for the city’s future.” 

“It is our absolute pleasure to receive this generous grant, and to operate the YouthBuild program for young NYCHA residents in Brownsville," said NYCHA Chief Executive Officer Bova-Hiatt. “NYCHA's YouthBuild program will not only facilitate vital hands-on job skills and experience, but also foster leadership qualities and provide advantageous networking opportunities for young New Yorkers finding themselves at critical decision-making points in their lives. We thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Department of Labor, the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation, and the Brooklyn Public Library for helping us provide Brownsville youth with the right tools to make informed choices about their futures."

“Through the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development’s work with young people — particularly those who live in Brownsville and other neighborhoods in the Blueprint for Community Safety’s six priority precincts — we know the critical role of job training and career placement in changing the trajectory of young lives,” said DYCD Commissioner Keith Howard. “YouthBuild is a perfect complement to DYCD’s existing youth workforce development efforts, including the Summer Youth Employment Program, and Train & Earn for youth not working or in school. We stand ready to support NYCHA and its community partners to help connect young people to life-changing opportunities.”

“Mayor Adams is committed to opening up more and more doors of opportunity for our young people, and the YouthBuild pre-apprenticeship program is another important way that New York City is working to do that,” said New York City Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. “We see over and over again that when we invest in opportunities for our young people, they seize them with hard work and commitment. By providing justice-involved youth and youth aging out of foster care with access to professional certifications, skills training, and job placement opportunities, we are working to ensure they have the right support to pursue their dreams and be successful adults.”

“The YouthBuild program exemplifies this administration’s commitment to ensuring equal access to opportunity for young New Yorkers in low-income communities and helping them realize their incredible potential while creating critical pathways to stable employment,” said New York City Department of Social Services Commissioner Molly Wasow Park. “This vital investment reflects the importance of partnership across levels of government to strengthen supports for our vulnerable communities, and we congratulate our agency partners at NYCHA on the launch of this incredible initiative as they gear up to welcome the first cohort of young New Yorkers residing in Brownsville to the YouthBuild program this fall.”

“I am particularly excited about the inclusive nature of the YouthBuild program at NYCHA,” said New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Christina Curry. “This will open doors for young individuals living with disabilities, and this initiative aligns with our commitment to inclusivity. Our city's future is bright when we invest in all our residents.”

“Through initiatives like YouthBuild, we are not just investing in individual futures, we are strengthening entire communities,” said New York City Department of Probation Commissioner Juanita Holmes. “The Department of Probation is committed to programs that offer both educational opportunities and real-world job training, helping to ensure that all young people have the chance to turn challenges into stepping stones for success.”

“I’m excited to see how young people in Brownsville use the YouthBuild program to build on their leadership and technical skills to continue developing toward the leaders of today and tomorrow in their communities,” said New York City Executive Director for Housing Leila Bozorg. “There’s nothing more valuable or impactful than investing in our youth so I thank our partners at NYCHA, at the United States Department of Labor, and across Brooklyn for making this program possible.”

“Brownsville is home to a wonderful, culturally-diverse community,” said NYCHA Executive Vice President for Resident Services, Partnerships, and Initiatives Ukah Busgith. “It's imperative to reach youth at this formative stage in their lives, and the YouthBuild program does just that by outfitting 60 young NYCHA residents from this remarkable Brooklyn neighborhood with the skills and resources to succeed in the next chapter of their lives. We truly cannot wait to host our first YouthBuild cohort this fall.”

“With this federal funding for pre-apprenticeships, the talented young people living in NYCHA homes will have access to career connected learning and professional development in the construction industry, positioning them not only for family sustaining jobs, but also for the opportunity to contribute to our city’s climate resiliency," said New York City Mayor's Office of Talent and Workforce Development Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal. "Just as important — this grant provides New York City businesses the talent pipeline they need to grow our green economy and build a more inclusive economy.”

NYCHA’s YouthBuild program will benefit young New Yorkers in the following NYCHA developments: Brownsville, Glenmore Plaza, Howard, Langston Hughes, Marcus Garvey, Park Rock Rehab, Ocean Hill, Ralph Avenue Rehab, Saratoga Village, Seth Low, Tapscott Street, Tilden, and Van Dyke. Youth living in NYCHA Section 8 housing within the selected zip codes will also be eligible for the program.

NYCHA’s YouthBuild program will conduct two six-month cohorts of 30 students. In addition to a stipend and support services, members of each cohort will receive:

  • Technical, lab, and classroom instruction on construction skills and safety training, leading to industry-recognized certifications and credentialing, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration site safety training and National Center for Construction Education and Research construction technology credentials;
  • Hands-on construction skills application through the renovation of up to three vacant NYCHA units;
  • High School Equivalency (HSE) instruction and career readiness support to successfully pass the HSE exam and prepare for career and/or post-secondary success;
  • Leadership development, including community service opportunities; and
  • 12 months of job placement and post-program follow-up support.

The program will provide the necessary framework for graduates to excel in apprenticeships and entry-level construction positions, utilize the Section 3 federal program, which ensures training and hiring opportunities for recipients of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development financial assistance, existing partnerships, and follow the mission of the NYC Workforce Development Board to create rewarding pathways for participating youth. The Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (CBEDC) will provide additional program management, construction training, case management, leadership development, and support services. Follow-up support will be provided by the Brooklyn Public Library, which will serve as the primary education partner with their Enhanced Young Adult Literacy Program, providing HSE instruction, education support, and career and post-secondary readiness support.

Over the last two years, Mayor Adams has made historic investments towards public housing and providing New Yorkers with a clean, safe space to rest their heads at night. Last month, Mayor Adams and NYCHA announced the reopening of the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program waitlist, which had been closed to general applications for nearly 15 years, fulfilling a key commitment made in his 2024 State of the City address. In 2023, the Adams administration set several housing records and milestones, including, a new record by converting more than 5,200 units to Section 8 through the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program, for a total of more than 20,000 converted units; closed on financing for $1.8 billion for capital repairs at PACT developments — the largest capital financing in the program’s history; continued to utilize a record $1 billion in funding for capital projects in 2023; set a new Public Housing Community Fund record with an historic $8 million haul; and made historic progress to bolster sustainability through clean energy initiatives and flood resiliency infrastructure improvements; among other efforts. 

The Adams administration has also made historic investments towards creating job opportunities for working-class New Yorkers. Last month, Mayor Adams was joined by New York Governor Kathy Hochul and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to announce an agreement to transform the Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a modern maritime port and vibrant mixed-use community hub, with the potential to create thousands of jobs. The project also builds on generational and forward-looking projects across all five boroughs that Mayor Adams has advanced over the past two years, including Willets Point in Queens, the New York Climate Exchange on Governors Island, Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, the SPARC Kips Bay life sciences hub in Manhattan, the “North Shore Action Plan” on Staten Island, and the Climate Innovation Hub in Brooklyn, among others.

Additionally, in April, Mayor Adams launched “Run This Town,” a multi-media advertising campaign to engage diverse New Yorkers and help them apply for thousands of available city government jobs. The announcement followed the launch of  “Jobs NYC,” a multi-pronged citywide effort to reduce barriers to economic opportunities and deliver workforce development services directly to communities across the five boroughs that are experiencing high unemployment. Both campaigns are expected to further reduce the unacceptable disparities in employment between Black, Latino, and white communities.

Finally, the Adams administration continues to host hiring halls to bring both public- and private-sector job opportunities to neighborhoods across the five boroughs on a monthly basis.

“I grew up in public housing in Brownsville, a community that has long been deprived of the resources necessary to help our young people thrive," said New York State Assemblymember Latrice Walker. "The $1.3 million grant to fund a YouthBuild program in my community is a godsend, a welcome opportunity for people ages 16 to 24 who live in NYCHA developments. Participants can earn their high school diplomas or equivalent certification, receive vocational training, mentoring and a real shot at job placement. I look forward to welcoming the first group into the program this fall.”

“Today, we launch the historic YouthBuild program in Brownsville to uplift youth growing up in NYCHA developments,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “We will put these young people on a track to success. This $1.3 million investment will provide at-risk youth with leadership training, skills development, education, and job placement. These are children who have the potential to grow and thrive when given the proper tools and direction. With this announcement, we commit to giving these young people the guidance they need to have every success in their lives and careers.”

"I am proud to represent part of the Brownsville community and support the YouthBuild organization that helps youth get prepared and achieve their full potential," said New York City Councilmember Chris Banks. "This grant will enable the launch of a comprehensive pre-apprenticeship program designed to enhance the leadership  skillsets and job readiness of young individuals."

“As someone who grew up in NYCHA housing, partnering with NYCHA on the YouthBuild program holds a deeply personal significance for me,” said La'Shawn Allen-Muhammad, CEO, Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation. “This collaboration represents an extraordinary opportunity to give back to the community that shaped me and supports the development of the next generation of builders and maintainers of the built environment. By joining forces with NYCHA, CBEDC is not only providing valuable skills training and employment opportunities but also fosters a sense of hope and possibility for Brownsville. Together, we will ensure that every young person has the chance to reach their full potential.”

“Brooklyn Public Library congratulates Mayor Adams and NYCHA CEO Bova-Hiatt on securing this sizeable federal grant in support of our youth in Brooklyn,” said Kerwin Pilgrim, director of adult learning, Brooklyn Public Library. “We are proud to serve as an education partner on this pre-apprenticeship pathways program for youth in the Brownsville NYCHA community. Brooklyn Public Library is excited to be providing High School Equivalency instruction and career readiness support through its Enhanced Young Adult Literacy Program and looks forward to our continued collaboration with the city.”

Media Contact
(212) 788-2958