Durbin Announces $3.3 Million in Department of Labor Grants For Illinois Youth

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded $3,300,000 in grants to organizations throughout Illinois to support academic and occupational skills training programs for at-risk youth. The funding is made available through DOL’s YouthBuild program, which assists out-of-school youth in obtaining their diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the construction industry.

Under this announcement, the following Illinois organizations will receive funding:


  • East St. Louis, Illinois: The Emerson Park Development Corporation will receive $1,100,000 in funding through the YouthBuild  program
  • Mt. Vernon, Illinois: The United Methodist Children’s Home will receive $1,100,000 in funding through the YouthBuild program


  • Normal, Illinois: YouthBuild McLean County will receive $1,100,000 in funding through the YouthBuild program


The YouthBuild program aligns with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and job-driven training agenda by promoting a “stepping stone” approach that provides a seamless progression from education to work-based training and results in good paying jobs for young adults. The community-based nature of these grants ensures that services are provided where they are needed most and are intended to reach the hardest to serve youth.


Participants in the YouthBuild program include individuals who have been in the juvenile justice system, youth aging out of foster care, high school dropouts and others.  The curriculum is rigorous and provides the foundation for entry and success in post-secondary educational institutions and employment.