The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 24, 2008

Goodwill program helps young people get back on their feet

Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley Inc. introduced its “YouthBuild Johnstown” program in October to help young people rebuild their lives.

The project is funded through a federal grant, and Goodwill has partnered with 13 community organizations to bring the program to fruition.

YouthBuild provides 11 months of education and hands-on experience in the construction industry for Cambria County residents ages 16 through 24 who are considering dropping out of school or already have left without receiving a diploma. The program also is open to people who are basic skills deficient in reading and math. There is no Youth Build in Somerset County.

Participants spend half of their time learning construction skills in the classroom and on a job site. About 40 percent of their time is spent working toward receiving a GED, and participants go through leadership training for the remainder.

Ann Torledsky, vice president of work-force development at Goodwill, said youth in the program help build homes for local low-income families – giving back to the community.

“We hope they can turn their lives around and be self-sufficient,” she said.

For more information or to enroll, contact Mindy Rickabaugh at 536-3536, ext. 291.

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