Skip to Main Content

What is YouthBuild?

YouthBuild is a U.S. Department of Labor-funded, non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24. Youth in our program will learn construction skills while constructing or rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in their own neighborhoods.

YouthBuild Program at HACC
The Housing Authority of Champaign County YouthBuild program provides education, career services, training, and trade-specific certifications to young adults (between ages 16 and 24), generally high school dropouts. The program consists of 3 components: construction (40%), education (50%), leadership (10%). YouthBuild students spend time on a job site, learning the construction trade with hands-on experiences of building homes for their communities and other small projects. This creates housing for low-income families while giving the students marketable job skills.

Youthbuild students will earn the following construction certifications while in the program: Flaggers, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research). Leadership is taught explicitly in YouthBuild programs, based on the philosophy that young people are not a burden but rather a resource to be tapped.

  • It is a leadership development program, in which young people share in the governance of their own program and participate actively in community affairs, learning the values and the lifelong commitment needed by effective and ethical community leaders.
  • It is a youth development program, in which young people participate in personal counseling, peer support groups, and life-planning processes that assist them in healing from past hurts, overcoming negative habits and attitudes, and pursuing achievable goals that will establish a productive life, sustaining themselves and their immediate families.
  • It is a long-term mini-community, in which young people make new friends committed to a positive lifestyle, may pursue cultural and recreational activities together, and can continue to participate through follow-up services and a graduates program.
  • It is a community development program, in which community organizations obtain the resources to tackle several key community issues at once, strengthening their capacity to build and manage housing for their residents, educate and inspire their youth, create leadership for the future, and generally take responsibility for their neighborhoods.

For More Information about the Housing Authority of Champaign County's YouthBuild Program please Contact Shevone Myrick, YouthBuild Program Manager at


What can we help you with today?

Contact HACC