Goodwill Awarded $864K Grant by U.S. Department of Labor to Expand Youth Program

July 16, 2013, Press Release

JOHNSTOWN, PA, July 16, 2013 — The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies a three-year grant for $864,000 to serve youth in its YouthBuild Johnstown Program. The highly competitive grant was awarded to only 68 YouthBuild programs across the country.

Youth_YouthBuildJohnstown LogoThrough YouthBuild Johnstown, Goodwill delivers a community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training to individuals ages 17–24 in disadvantaged situations such as those who are of low income, lack a high school diploma, or are aging out of foster care.

The classroom training component enables participants to earn General Educational Development (GED) certificates or other state-recognized equivalency diplomas. The occupational skills training component provides youth with hands-on training in construction or welding as well as industry-recognized certifications. YouthBuild also creates an income opportunity for participants as they earn $7.25 per hour building or rehabilitating affordable housing or performing on-the-job training in welding. The program involves a collaboration of many community partners.

Phyllis Bandstra, Goodwill’s President & CEO emphasizes the importance of the services of YouthBuild stating, “These young people leave with skills that will take them into their future careers.” She added, “We are excited to be awarded this grant and to explore additional skills training for the youth such as welding. It’s a validation at the federal level that our services are effective.”

Goodwill was first awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Labor to operate YouthBuild in October 2007. To date, 125 participants have received more than 26,000 hours of on‐the‐job training, performed nearly 2,500 hours of community service, rehabilitated 17 houses, constructed 4 new homes, deconstructed 7 houses, and renovated 64 apartments. More than 60 participants have enrolled in community college and/or obtained employment in the construction and service industry. In 2012, Goodwill provided $117,622 self-funding to operate YouthBuild , serving 55 participants, through revenue generated by its 10 Goodwill Retail Stores and Donation Centers and industrial contract services—thanks to support by the community.

For more information on Goodwill’s YouthBuild Johnstown Program, please contact Mindy Rickabaugh, Program Manager at (814) 536-3536, ext. 291 or

Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley (GICV), Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1962 to empower individuals and families with employment barriers to achieve their fullest potential in the community through work services. Headquartered in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, GICV serves individuals with disabilities and disadvantages, dislocated workers, youth, and other job seekers throughout south central Pennsylvania in the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, Indiana, Somerset and a portion of Westmoreland by providing education and career services as well as job placement and postemployment supports. GICV is a community-based member organization of Goodwill Industries International, a 179-member network in the U.S., Canada, and 13 other countries. Learn more at
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