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HUD # 06-WA-09
Pamela Negri
(206) 220-5356
For Release
January 25, 2006


At-Risk Youth To Get A New Start In Life While Building Affordable Housing

Editor’s Note: For additional information, contact Susan Martensen, Director of Marketing & Communications, Goodwill at (253) 284-3333 or smartensen@tacomagoodwill.org.

SEATTLE – Approximately 20 low-income young people in Tacoma will return to school and begin new careers in the homebuilding trades because of a $400,000 YouthBuild grant announced by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development. The grant will enable Tacoma Goodwill Industries to begin a new program that will help at-risk young people graduate high school and train for a future in the construction trades while building affordable homes for lower income families in the Salishan Revitalization Project.

The grant is part of more than $58 million in funding awarded nationwide through HUD's YouthBuild Program. King County’s existing YouthBuild program was the only other recipient in Washington, receiving a $700,000 grant.

“This is a win-win program since these young people learn high-demand job skills while producing affordable homes in their own communities,” said John W. Meyers, HUD Regional Director.

"We are thrilled to be a first-time recipient of a YouthBuild grant, and look forward to our partnership with both the Tacoma Housing Authority and Bates Technical College in bringing this opportunity to life,” said Terry A. Hayes, CEO of Tacoma Goodwill Industries.“This grant will provide the education, practical job training and leadership skills that are so needed by at-risk youth in our community. With their education completed and real work skills in the growing construction industry, our YouthBuild participants will definitely be headed for a brighter future."

Young people who enroll in local YouthBuild programs lack high school diplomas and the job skills necessary to find meaningful employment. The funding announced today will help young men and women, ages 16-to-24, to receive their high school equivalency diplomas and provide them training in homebuilding skills that will qualify them for careers in the building industry.

Program participants will receive on-the-job training in the building trades and help build and renovate homes that are then sold at affordable prices to low- and very low-income persons as well as to homeless individuals and families.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.


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