YouthBuild provided education, training, and other supportive services to youth with low incomes who were disconnected both from high school and from the workforce with the goal of reengaging them in employment and education.

YouthBuild is currently offering some services remotely in response to COVID-19
YouthBuild is currently offering some services remotely in response to COVID-19

YouthBuild provided education, training, and other supportive services to low-income, youth who are disconnected both from high school and from the workforce with the goal of reengaging them in employment and education.

YouthBuild programs provided four main categories of services. First, a combination of educational services designed to lead to a high school diploma or to an equivalent credential such as a GED. Second, vocational training in construction or another in-demand industry. Third, youth development services focused on leadership training and community service. And, finally, supportive services to help individuals participate in training and employment, including case management, workforce preparation, life skills training, counseling, and stipends for participation. The YouthBuild model is designed to allow variation based on program and community contexts. As of 2020, YouthBuild continues to offer similar services to eligible participants.

As part of the screening process, each program administered a Mental Toughness Orientation to selected youth who applied to the program, which lasted an average of 10 days. Random assignment could occur before, during, or after the orientation, depending on the program. Most programs lasted a total of 6 to 12 months. YouthBuild focused on youth ages 16 to 24 who are “disconnected”: they had dropped out of high school and were either from a low-income or migrant family, were in foster care, were ex-offenders or children of incarcerated parents, or had disabilities. The program was implemented in 75 local programs within 29 U.S. states, DC, and the Virgin Islands.

Year evaluation began: 2011
Populations and employment barriers: Young adults (aged 16-24)
Intervention services: Case management, Education, Employment retention services, Financial incentives, Health services, Supportive services, Training, Occupational or sectoral training, Soft skills training, On-the-job training, Work experience, Work readiness activities, Job search assistance
Setting(s): Tested in multiple settings

Effectiveness Rating and Effect By Outcome Domain

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Outcome domain Term Effectiveness rating Effect in 2018 dollars and percentages Effect in standard deviations Sample size
Increase earnings Short-term Not supported unfavorable $-105 per year -0.01 3878
Long-term Supported favorable $1,360 per year 0.07 3878
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase employment Short-term Little evidence to assess support favorable 1% (in percentage points) 0.03 3878
Long-term Supported favorable 4% (in percentage points) 0.09 3878
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Decrease benefit receipt Short-term Little evidence to assess support unfavorable $105 per year 0.04 2845
Long-term Little evidence to assess support unfavorable $33 per year 0.01 2721
Very long-term No evidence to assess support
Increase education and training All measurement periods Supported favorable 2% (in percentage points) 0.05 3929

Studies of this Intervention

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Study Quality Rating Study Counts per Rating
High High 1