Goodwill’s YouthBuild Johnstown Class of 2011 Graduates

July 6, 2011, WJAC-TV
Cambria County Program Helps Students Get GEDs

A graduation ceremony was held Wednesday for students in a training program that helps students earn their GEDs and learn construction skills.

It’s called YouthBuild. It’s a national program, run locally by Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies. The program is open to people between 17 and 24 years old, who are low-income or disadvantaged.

Graduates said the program has opened up opportunities that they never dreamed were possible.

As part of the program, the students earn minimum wage while building or rehabilitating low-income housing across the area.

Officials said students have to work hard to graduate, once they’re accepted into the program.

“Some of them make it, and some of them don’t,” said Phyliss Bandstra, of Goodwill Industries. “They go through an interview program and then a mental toughening session before moving into the full training program.”

Several of the graduates have already found jobs in the construction industry.

YouthBuild Johnstown is currently looking for more students to take part in a class which starts on July 18. Because officials need to sift through applicants to make sure they meet the eligibility requirements, the deadline to apply is Friday. If you’re interested, call them at 814-242-1375.

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