PALM DESERT — Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D., and the Riverside County Office of Education have announced a $1,080,000 grant to expand vocational training and provide affordable housing for low-income families in the Hemet and San Jacinto region.
Over the next three years, the grant will allow the Riverside County Office of Education to expand its YouthBuild program to support an additional 61 underserved young people between the ages of 16 and 24, according to Ruiz. YouthBuild provides on-the-job-training for young people in the construction industry by hiring them to work alongside experts to build affordable housing for low-income and homeless families.
“This grant is a win for so many members of our community. It’s a win for our local economy, a win for young people learning valuable job skills, and a win for low-income families in need of affordable housing,” Ruiz said in a prepared statement. “I was honored to successfully help the Riverside County Office of Education secure this grant, and I will continue to fight for grant funding that empowers young people and boosts our local economy.”
“Students learning vocational skills through YouthBuild are not only constructing a foundation for future career success, but they are serving the greater needs of the region by providing affordable housing,” Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Judy D. White, said in a prepared statement. “The expansion of the YouthBuild grant further enables students to develop in-demand industry skills while making a meaningful and tangible impact in their local neighborhoods.”
At the end of January, the Riverside County Office of Education was awarded a grant from the Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program, which provides federal funding for education and training programs across the country with the mission of helping underserved young people complete high school and learn valuable career skills. The RCOE grant was one of only six awarded in the entire state of California and 77 nationwide.
The grant funds will go toward RCOE’s existing YouthBuild program serving the Hemet and San Jacinto region. The program enrolls 700 students in job-training programs geared toward careers in construction and logistics. The additional funds will allow RCOE to expand the existing program to an additional 61 underserved young people between the ages 16 and 24. In turn, RCOE will provide academic support and technical training to young people for in-demand jobs in the construction industry.