YouthBuild receives grant

February 5, 2019

MT. VERNON — YouthBuild of Jefferson and Marion counties has been awarded a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
A program of Spero Family Services, YouthBuild is a federally-funded education and training program designed to help at-risk youth complete high school or a state equivalency degree program, earn industry-recognized credentials for in-demand occupations and undergo training to build housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in communities.

“This is a very competitive grant and we’re excited to be able to continue this important service,” said Mandy Bernard, Spero community services director. “We will begin taking applications in the spring for our next cohort of students.”

One of the largest aspects of YouthBuild is the way it gives back to the community while learning a skill. This current cohort YouthBuild partnered with the city of Centralia to build two shade shelters for the new dog park there and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. Additionally, YouthBuild is working to rehab a home in Mt. Vernon.

“We are excited to be fully-funded for another two years and hope to help many more young people complete their education and become active, working members of this community,” said Cheryl Young, program manager.

Additional information about YouthBuild is available by contacting Young at 242-6723 or at 533-5288.

Anyone who is interested in the free program can apply online at