Youth Action YouthBuild

Youth Action YouthBuild Program


The Youth Action YouthBuild (YAYB) construction skills training program integrates leadership development, education, and vocational skills training into a combined service approach that prepares low income, out-of-school, out-of-work young people aged 17-24 from East Harlem and surrounding neighborhoods to take advantage of existing economic opportunities, forge new ones, and further their education. The YAYB program curriculum includes:


  • High School Equivalency (HSE) training/ TASC test preparation
  • Work readiness training
  • Vocational construction training and certification (OSHA10 and OSHA30)
  • Placement in a paid 13-week internship
  • Case management
  • Leadership development
  • Community service engagement


The YAYB program typically begins at the beginning of September and finishes at the end of June. Students in the program work and learn full time for these 9-10 months, alternating between preparing for the HSE exam and renovating and maintaining affordable housing in East Harlem. They learn a variety of professional skills and earn stackable construction-related credentials that help set them up to successfully gain employment at NYC construction sites and/or within other related industries such as general contracting and building operations. Students gain additional work experience through paid 13-week internships where they are placed in a range of community settings with the help of our employment specialist. Participants also engage in leadership development through community service, and are eligible to earn an AmeriCorps Education award upon completion of 450 service hours.


Wonderful teachers and staff help students prepare for the HSE exam and gain practical skills to further their career potential. Our employment specialist cultivates partnerships with apprenticeship programs, employers and workforce development agencies in order to connect graduates to internships and sustainable career pathways. We also have a success manager to assist students in being successful in navigating the rigors of the program, their life challenges and connecting to a range of support services. Collectively, the YAYB team provides education and career guidance to enrolled students, and maintains supportive relationships with students while they are in the program and after they have left.


Prerequisites for Application


  • Must be 17-24 years old
  • Must score an 8th grade or higher reading and math level on the TABE exam (TABE exams are given on-site following application to the program to determine eligibility)



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>>Read Youth Action YouthBuild Student Stories


Youth Action YouthBuild East Harlem is dedicated to building a community of young people and adults committed to taking responsibility for their own lives and for improving the larger community.
"A Proud Partner of the American Job Center"

T: (212) 860-8170
F: (212) 860-8894