A new program at Western Technical College helps at-risk youth find success in the workforce and engage with the community. The program was made possible though funding from the U-S Department of Labor. TAKE INTERSTITIAL New at 6 . News 8’s Lisa Klein introduces us to this new opportunity in tonight’s Assignment: Education report. The program is called Youth Build. Western was one of three non-profit organizations in Wisconsin to receive the grant to begin this program locally. It is a community-based alternative education option that provides job training. as well as opportunities for at risk students to earn their G-E-D, H-S-E-D or high school diploma. Nats… Lisa. Learning job skills while earning money. nats that is the model of the Youth Build program. Jazmine. A month ago I wouldn’t even know how to assemble this and now I know how to angle it, the measurements and all the screws. Lisa. Jazmine Velencia was a Central High School student who decided to enroll
in this new construction pre-apprenticeship program for at risk students. Jazmine. It’s just like something to do with my day instead of getting into trouble. I think for kids is why they got this program cause they can spend their day doing here and we actually build houses for the community. So we’re actually giving back instead of doing dumb kid things. Lisa. The students spend the first part of the 6-12 month long program learning how to use construction tools and earning safety certifications. Jazmine. I earned my CPR and First aid and my OSHA safety. Lisa. And before long. they’ll be working *in* the community…* for* the community building houses and garages through a partnership with the city of La Crosse. Gregory. How much better can it get. Going to school. Getting your own education and then helping out the community. And I think that’s such an important thing. Showing these students hat they are a valueable part of the community and that they can make a difference in their community. And this is a great opportunity for them to be able to do that and also be able to build their own skills as well. Lisa. The students will give 20 hours every week to build housing for the city. In return, they will receive a stipend for $190 a week. Gregory. So, it’s basically like working a job and being able to go to school at the same time and helping out the community. Jazmine. Even after this, I was thinking of building a little playhouse for my neice that was just born. When she gets bigger I thought with my skills that I learned here it would be good to take home and try it with my dad and my family. Lisa. But how to swing a hammer isn’t the only skill these students learn. Sherry. It’s really more about not just these particular skills but really about learning what it’s like to work as a team, showing up on time, understanding how to take direction all of those things that can be applied to any number of jobs or life situations and that’s what I think is so unique is putting all those pieces together here in one place. Lisa. Ultimately, putting these students in a position to succeed. Sherry. When they’re done with their involvement in this program, they’ve made those connections. They know their resources. They know where else they can go which is important for the rest of their lives. Jazmine. It’s a new start. It’s a new thing they help you. it’s a new chapter in life that they really get you ready for and I think that it’s a good thing here. The grant is a three-year grant. Western hopes they are able to help 60 to 75 people complete the program. ?What type of outcome is expected from the Youth Build program? The hope is that by the end of the program. students will either have a full time job. continue on to post secondary education or join the military.