2011-03-04 / Community

Schumer Pushes Education For Rockaway Teens


U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer On Wednesday, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the YMCA of Greater New York will receive a $1.1 million Department of Labor grant to fund the Flushing YMCA YouthBuild program that provides services in neighborhoods throughout Queens including East Elmhurst, Corona, Flushing, Jamaica, St. Albans, Springfield Gardens, Cambria Heights, and the Rockaways.

YouthBuild assists out-of-school youth in obtaining diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the building industry. Participants include individuals who have been in the juvenile justice system, youth aging out of foster care, high school dropouts and others. Schumer said that this funding would allow this critical community program to stay open during these tough economic times.

“By building math and reading skills, YouthBuild programs help students finish high school and put them on the right path towards a college degree, a job and a brighter future,” said Schumer. “With this critical investment in building our future, the Flushing YMCA can now keep its Queens YouthBuild programs open for business.”

In 2010, Schumer wrote a letter of support for the YMCA of Greater New York to the Department of Labor detailing the accomplishments of Flushing’s YouthBuild program and requesting funding. The Flushing YouthBuild program will provide up to 70 at risk youth with a comprehensive range of educational, training and employment services in the next two years. The program aims to have 70% of program graduates earn their GEDs; 75% gain employment, a post-secondary education, a college degree, occupational skills training, or join the military; and 85% placed in employment retaining their jobs through ninety days.

The program accepts referrals and support from organizations that work with juvenile offenders, such as Queens Criminal Court and high schools in the Queens area.

To achieve success, the YMCA has enlisted the support of more than 50 local partners, including the New York City GED Plus program, the City University of New York and vocational schools such as the ASA Institute. The YMCA will also partner with the Queens Workforce 1 Career Center to provide training, job placement and employment placement counseling.

Local employers such as Macys, Modells, and others contribute to the curriculum and hire program participants.

YouthBuild grants are administered by the Department of Labor and are awarded on a competitive basis to the applicants that most closely address the program’s priorities and demonstrate financial need. Since 2006, more than 13,000 young people have participated in programs in 44 states and the District of Columbia.

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