Type to search

Featured Nonprofit organizations

Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico gets $1.5M federal grant

The U.S. Department of Labor announced it has awarded the Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico a grant of close to $1.5 million over a three-year period under its YouthBuild community-based pre-apprenticeship program.

The Puerto Rico nonprofit was among 28 organizations to receive funding under the program that provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24 not enrolled in school or participating in the labor market for jobs in construction and other in-demand industries through apprenticeship and other career pathways, especially jobs that support clean energy technologies.

Participants in the local nonprofit’s “EMpower YouthBuild” initiative will engage in classroom learning that will prepare them for work-based learning opportunities building and rehabilitating affordable housing for low-income or homeless families in their communities.

Participants will split their time between workplace training and the classroom, where they will earn a high school diploma or equivalent degree to prepare for postsecondary opportunities, the federal agency explained.

Olga Ramos, president of Boys & Girls Puerto Rico, confirmed that the allocation will benefit at least 84 participants in the towns of Arecibo, Aguas Buenas, San Juan, and Carolina.

“As the only recipient in Puerto Rico, this award will enable our organization to not only make significant progress to reinvigorate Puerto Rico’s workforce after disasters and the pandemic, but will empower our island’s young adults to pursue meaningful education and career opportunities to exit generational poverty,” Ramos said.

“YouthBuild will allow the Boys & Girls Club to expand programming to help eradicate poverty on the island. Our expanded programming is designed to serve whole families through wraparound supports, including workforce training,” she added.

The Program offers two tracks in high demand fields of construction and elderly caregiving, chosen based on local employer presence and market demands. Students will learn skills required for a specific and available job and can earn up to five industry recognized credentials.

As part of the competitive process, the nonprofit submitted its proposal in partnership with 20 private-sector entities and three government-sector entities that will provide their expertise, she said.

The participating entities are:

  • LiUNA, which will provide classroom and hands-on construction training and will work with job placement.
  • Techos Pa’ Mi Gente that will provide eligible construction projects for students to spend three months on-the-job rebuilding houses in communities ravaged by natural disasters.
  • Interlink Construction, which has committed to offering a low-income or social interest construction site for participants to practice skills toward their 240 contact hours and will hire graduates.
  • Avanti Kitchens, that will create a curriculum and training to ensure that it fits the needs of local employers and will enroll graduates in registered apprenticeship programs and hire them.
  • PRISA Group, which will train participants using their low-income housing sites as a classroom and will also hire graduates.
  • Puerto Rico General Contractors Association, which will provideguidance, enrichment, apprenticeships, and job placements to participants.
  • F&R Construction Group, which will help create curriculum and training to align with employer needs, supplement educational & career counseling through lectures and site tours and hire graduates.
  • Puerto Rico Builders Association will aid in training activities, including its school-to-workforce training course, provide networking opportunities, guest speakers, and leadership workshops.
  • RIMCO LLC, which will provide hands-on construction experience and training to operate construction machinery.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico, which will provide construction sites as available,
  • Bird Group LLC, which will assist with curriculum and training that aligns with employer skill needs, give educational/career advice, speak to participants, offer worksite tours with hands-on learning. It will also provide registered apprenticeship opportunities and hire graduates. 
  • BCS Architects and Builders, which will assist in training program participants, site tours, and guest lectures.
  • Colegio Educativo San Lazaro.
  • Aspira.
  • University of Puerto Rico.
  • Columbia Central University.
  • Caribbean University.
  • U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Menonita Health System.
  • Instituto de Psicotraumalogica de Puerto Rico.
  • Ombudsman Office for the Elderly.
  • Ramey Job Corps Center.
  • Workforce Development Board.

The goal is to place at least 80% of program participants in a job or an education program or obtain a credential and get at least 75% of them to have measurable skills gains.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *