The U.S. Conference of Mayors


WHEREAS, there are 2.4 million young low-income adults in the United States between the ages of 16 and 24 who have left high school without a diploma or who are unemployed; and

WHEREAS, in YouthBuild programs, unemployed and undereducated young people ages 16-24 work toward their GED or high school diploma while learning job skills by building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people; and

WHEREAS, strong emphasis is placed on leadership development, community service, and the creation of a positive mini-community of adults and youth committed to success; and

WHEREAS, in YouthBuild programs the most disadvantaged youth are brought into the productive workforce; and

WHEREAS, in 2006 there were more than 220 YouthBuild programs in 42 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, engaging approximately 8,000 young adults; and

WHEREAS, from 2001 to 2005, 89 percent of YouthBuild students entered the program without their GED or diploma, 33 percent had been adjudicated, and 27 percent received public assistance prior to joining YouthBuild and, in spite of these overwhelming odds, 58 percent completed the program and 78 percent of graduates went on to college or jobs averaging $8.41/hour; and

WHEREAS, YouthBuild is a public-private partnership in which each YouthBuild program secures its own funding, generally a mix of government (federal, state, and local) and private support; and

WHEREAS, federal support for YouthBuild was first authorized under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1992 and reauthorized within the Workforce Investment Act under the U.S. Department of Labor by the YouthBuild Transfer Act (Public Law 109-281) in September 2006, when it passed by unanimous consent in both Houses of Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush; and

WHEREAS, since 1993 more than 68,000 YouthBuild students have produced over 16,000 units of low-income housing; and

WHEREAS, the nation's ability to reconnect unemployed and undereducated young adults is critical to workforce development, crime prevention, and economic development,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the federal, state, and local governments to increase their investment in YouthBuild; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to increase the level of the annual funding for the YouthBuild program to at least $140 million; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to ensure that the YouthBuild program is funded only from the excess of the amount appropriated for the WIA youth formula program when it is at a level of at least $1 billion and not at the expense of the year-round program.

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352