Construction training, high school diploma/GED assistance, and job placement services for at-risk Baltimore City youth
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YouthBuild gives a second chance to Baltimore City youth who have dropped out of high school. We provide construction training and certifications, assistance in earning a high school diploma or GED, and job placement services. Each year, YouthBuild provides comprehensive services to 30 participants between the ages of 16 and 24. YouthBuild is a national model. This program is supported and funded by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development via a $60,000 grant, Baltimore’s Promise via a $120,000 grant, the Baltimore Workforce Development Board and multiple workforce partners. Civic Works’ YouthBuild is 100% funded by a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for professional workforce services.

For more information, please contact Kenisha Jenkins at

James' Story

By the age of sixteen James Knight was supporting himself. Now that he is twenty-two and has his own family to support, the stakes are even higher. That is why he is pursuing a career in construction and joined Civic Works’ YouthBuild program to develop the skills he needs to achieve his goal. “I always wanted to do construction work,” he says, “I’m living my dream. To me, it’s more than an occupation.”

After only two months with us, James was excelling. He gained hands-on construction experience by renovating a house in a low-income community – he installed doors, painted walls and ceilings, waterproofed a basement, and installed a new bathroom sink, vanity and toilet. James became a Sherman Williams Certified Painter and earned his OSHA 10-hour Construction certification and Home Builders Institute (HBI) Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate Training (PACT) Certification upon completion of the program.

James knows what he wants to do with his life and how he can make his dreams of a career in construction a reality. The skills and certifications he gainined through YouthBuild will be invaluable assets. James knows the road ahead won’t be easy but he is enthusiastic about his future. As he puts it, “It’s about how bad you want it.”

Photo credit to Craig Weiman.