NEWESD 101 has been awarded a $1.1 million YouthBuild grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The competitive grant, one of only three awarded in Washington state, will fund a pre-apprenticeship program for at-risk individuals ages 16-to-24.

The three-year award will assist students in Spokane County with high school and GED completion, college preparation, career training, job placement, community service and post-program support.

Participants will spend 50 percent of their time in education, 40 percent in occupational training and 10 percent in leadership and community service. Occupational training will be provided in building construction (48 students) and healthcare (14 students).

Construction students will learning through hands-on projects including residential construction (building two homes) and skill-building leading to national multi-craft core curriculum (MC3) certification recognized by DOL.

Students in the healthcare track will train to become state certified nursing assistants, gateway positions to greater opportunity in the health field, one of Spokane’s fastest-growing job sectors. Training will include classroom and lab instruction, with additional clinical experience in local nursing facilities.

This is the fifth YouthBuild grant awarded to NEWESD 101 since 2009. The grant will be administered by the Center for Future Pathways, which directs the agency’s youth employment and training programs.