2010-04-16 / Top Stories

Gillibrand Pushes For Youth Corps Expansion

To help provide young people with service opportunities, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced legislation that would expand Youth Corps programs throughout the nation. The Youth Corps Act of 2010 would amend the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to establish a competitive grant program to assist states and local communities in replicating and expanding Youth Corps Programs.

“During these tough economic times, we must prepare our students to become tomorrow’s leaders,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This program would strengthen our communities, while preparing our young people for the jobs of the 21st century. All New York students deserve the opportunity to get ahead.”

The core components of the Youth Corps model include:

Opportunities for educational advancement, including secondary school completion and preparation for postsecondary education; work experience, skills training, and career counseling;

Collaboration with other youth serving systems, such as child welfare and juvenile justice, to provide and coordinate supportive services for vulnerable youth;

Partnerships with local workforce and education systems, including labor, employers, postsecondary institutions, and community-based organizations, to develop pathways to postsecondary and labor market success; and Post-program support.

The grants, awarded to states and municipalities, will be awarded for a period of 3 years with an option for renewal. In the Youth Corps model, adult leaders serve as mentors and guide crews of 8-12 Corps members as they gain paid work experience and learn the skills that are essential to the development of a strong work ethic and success in the workplace.

Corps members also receive a living allowance, classroom instruction to improve basic academic competencies, complete high school, and prepare for postsecondary education, and a wide range of supportive services.

Additionally, they participate in technical skills training and leadership development.

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