WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $2,090,258 in funding to two YouthBuild programs in northern New Mexico — $990,258 to HELP New Mexico, Inc. in Albuquerque and $1,100,000 to YouthWorks in Santa Fe — that work to connect underserved or at-risk young people to educational opportunities, employment, and job training. YouthBuild is an education and training program with a strong pre-apprenticeship component that helps at-risk youth complete high school or state equivalency degree programs, earn industry-recognized credentials for in-demand occupations, and undergo training to build housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in their communities.
“HELP New Mexico and YouthWorks are engaging young people across New Mexico, and connecting them with the right tools and opportunities to build a successful future,” said Udall. “This major funding will ensure that these homegrown organizations continue to expand access to educational and job training opportunities for underserved youth across our state. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ll keep fighting for strong federal investment in local programs that promote workforce development, empower young people, and drive New Mexico’s economy forward.”
"It is critical now more than ever to equip New Mexicans with the resources and skills they need to compete in today's job market,” said Heinrich. “I’m proud to secure this critical funding to support HELP New Mexico and YouthWorks in their work to engage and train underserved youth in the state. By empowering young people with the right tools to succeed, we can build stronger and more prosperous communities.”
“I’m pleased that this grant will help bolster YouthBuild’s work to open up opportunity for underserved youth in New Mexico,” said Luján. “By providing students with the tools to be competitive in today’s workforce, these programs are helping to level the playing field in our community. I will continue to work in Congress to ensure we are breaking down barriers to meaningful employment and securing good-paying jobs for the next generation.”
The two New Mexico organizations selected for funding are:
- HELP New Mexico’s Rio Arriba YouthBuild Program in Albuquerque, N.M., which “places participants on an academic or occupational path while they study, and work together to build homes.” It offers participants greater access to educational assistance and job placement services.
- YouthWorks in Santa Fe, N.M. is “a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for ‘disconnected’ youth to become engaged and valued members of our community,” and offers a range of services for underserved youth in New Mexico, including education, employment training, and job placement.
In September 2018, the New Mexico delegation, including Udall, Heinrich, and Luján, wrote to the Department of Labor in support of a grant funded through the Employment and Training Administration for YouthWorks to expand its services to a wider segment of at-risk youth in northern New Mexico.