Queens Community House offers youth employment services and sector-focused occupational skills, among other things, and now will have a new program offering training in construction.

In late January, the U.S. Department of Labor announced that QCH was being awarded a YouthBuild grant of over $1 million. YouthBuild is a national education and training program that helps at-risk youth obtain their high school equivalency, earn industry-recognized credentials for in-demand occupations and undergo training to build housing for low-income or homeless people in their communities.

During the two program years of YouthBuild, QCH will serve 62 young adults who meet the criteria. The target service area is inclusive of 12 ZIP codes in the borough: 11416, 11417, 11418, 11419, 11420, 11432, 11433, 11434, 11435, 11436, 11367 and 11355.

Anyone who is interested can visit the site qchnyc.org or call (917) 242-5810.

“The data demonstrated a need for a YouthBuild program based on unemployment, poverty, and the need for affordable housing,” said QCH Executive Director Ben Thomases. “We are excited to expand our extensive experience in these areas through the implementation of this program in central and southern Queens.”

QCH has also operated alternative high school supportive services in partnership with the city Department of Education since 2005.

Occupational skills training, education and supportive services will be located at Pomonok Community Center, one of QCH’s multiservice community hubs located within a New York City Housing Authority development in southwest Flushing.

QCH will utilize the National Center for Construction Education and Research curricula for preapprentice-level construction- skills training. Training will be provided to ensure students are prepped on safety standards. Following completion, students will engage in worksite activities building and renovating affordable housing.

“YouthBuild will provide our youth participants with an opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need for good-paying jobs in Queens,” said Thomases, “while also becoming more engaged members of their communities. That can be life-changing for a young person.”


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