BOSTON, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Walmart Foundation announced a $2.6 million donation to YouthBuild USA to support education and job training for low-income youth while giving participants the opportunity to earn a high school diploma or GED.
The grant will help train 2,000 young people in green building skills and result in the construction of 170 sustainable housing units in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
"We are looking for ways to provide opportunities for workers to develop skills to gain employment - particularly in the tough economy," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. "Supporting the next generation of workers with expertise in green building practices is a natural fit for Walmart because of our focus on environmental sustainability."
Ten thousand low-income, 16 to 24 year-olds work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas annually in YouthBuild programs. These young adults learn job skills by building affordable housing for homeless and poor people. Since 1994, approximately 92,000 YouthBuild students have built 19,000 housing units across the country.
"The Walmart Foundation has played a decisive role in training YouthBuild students for environmentally responsible careers in green construction and green small businesses," said Dorothy Stoneman, president and founder of YouthBuild USA. "The funds from the Walmart Foundation funds enable local YouthBuild programs to reach more young people who are out-of-work and out-of-school, preparing them for jobs and entrepreneurship in the green economy."
YouthBuild students are building green housing by partnering with public housing authorities, community development corporations and other community-based organizations to renovate and weatherize existing housing and by building new affordable homes that are energy and water-efficient while utilizing sustainable materials. YouthBuild homes are increasingly earning high ratings from Energy Star Homes, the U.S. Green Building Council, Green Built, National Association of Home Builders and other local and regional green building associations.
Since 2008, the Walmart Foundation has supported YouthBuild USA with more than $8 million. The Walmart Foundation's initial two-year grant helped YouthBuild programs engage 3,400 young people to continue their education and learn job skills while building more than 500 units of affordable housing in their communities.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. The Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $512 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally, $467 million of which was donated in the U.S. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
YouthBuild General Information
YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities--housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work full-time for 6 to 24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable, increasingly green, housing for homeless and low-income people and participating in leadership development activities in their communities.
YouthBuild programs are sponsored by local community- and faith-based organizations and public entities that raise funds from a variety of sources, with the primary federal funds administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. There are now 273 YouthBuild programs in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. 92,000 YouthBuild students have built 19,000 units of affordable, increasing green, housing since 1994.
YouthBuild USA orchestrates advocacy for public funding, guidance and quality assurance in program implementation, leadership opportunities for youth and staff, research to understand best practices, and targeted grants to YouthBuild affiliates. YouthBuild USA received the international Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship and has been named as one of America's 12 best non-profits in the book "Forces for Good." For more information, visit www.youthbuild.org.
SOURCE Walmart Foundation