UCC’s YouthBuild program opens enrollment for 2021

NEWARK, NJ — United Community Corporation introduced its YouthBuild job training and preparation program for teens and young adults aged 16 to 24 last September. The program received inquiries from 327 potential students from September through December and is now accepting enrollment for the 2021 season.

The program operates with a goal of providing young adults with the opportunity to gain high school equivalency credentials or learn career traits through pre-apprenticeship programs — all while earning monetary stipends as they learn.

YouthBuild is currently accepting interest forms online at https://uccnewark.org/youth-build. Inquiries can also be made by sending an email to youthbuild@uccnewark.org or calling 973-642-0181, ext. 5707.

“The key thing with YouthBuild is that we’re doing this in a non-traditional way,” YouthBuild Director Jacqueline Henry said. “We are working with a cluster of young adults to show them that all hope isn’t lost. We are providing them with the road map.”

The pre-apprenticeship programs offer training in construction, computer tech, and medical and dental tech. Once the pre-apprenticeship is completed, the young adult will work with YouthBuild’s job developer to find the right placement and will work with an alumni specialist/mentor for a year as they break into their new field.

YouthBuild is not only a job-placement service; it provides educational services as well. 

In addition to helping young adults who didn’t finish high school with the chance to earn a high school diploma equivalency, it also works with students who may have graduated high school, but still aren’t proficient in reading or math. The goal of its educational services is to help young adults continue their education with secondary schooling if that is the path that they choose.

Upon acceptance into the program, which operates out of 205 Spruce St. in Newark, students will undergo two weeks of mental toughness training before pursuing their personally selected field and getting started on their new journey.

“YouthBuild is very important for people that previously struggled academically, don’t know where they fit among their own community or aren’t sure of what their next step should be,” Henry said. “YouthBuild provides a place that gives a sense of community and can guide them to that next step.”