Build a better future


We can do this

For decades, YouthBuild programs across the state of Pennsylvania have worked with opportunity youth, helping them complete high school diplomas or its equivalent, get vocational training, and build better futures for economically distressed communities. There is a greater need for YouthBuild than ever before. The value of post-secondary education is rising while the costs of attainment are leaving too many behind. Upward mobility, a dream for so many, is now increasingly a reality for so few. The rate of high school graduates is projected to decline through 2032. The lack of affordable housing is fueling an eviction crisis nationally and locally.  

We can change that.

In the last three years, approximately 1,243 YouthBuild Pennsylvania participants built 66 houses and rehabbed at least 292 units of housing. Since 2014, YouthBuild Pennsylvania participants demonstrated increased voter registration and lowered recidivism rates. More than half earned an industry-recognized certification. For those who did not complete a high school diploma or its equivalent, 20 percent walked away with some kind of certification — pushing total educational attainment upwards of 70 percent. Upon graduation about 50 percent were engaged in either further education or employment. 

Years of empirical research offer clear evidence the YouthBuild model works.

Who we are

The YouthBuild Pennsylvania Coalition was formed in 2017 to act as a resource for member programs and to more effectively advocate for their students. There are six active YouthBuild programs in the coalition, hosted by various organizations, united by common purpose. 

Read about the members here



Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in



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YouthBuild Pennsylvania Coalition members are proud to be part of the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network. Dorothy Stoneman, founder of YouthBuild, started her work in 1978 with a handful of East Harlem teenagers and an abandoned tenement building. Today, YouthBuild has broad bipartisan support at the federal level, where appropriations have been administered by the Department of Labor since 2006. There are now over 260 locally operated YouthBuild programs in 45 states and in 23 other countries. While the contexts vary, the philosophical heart remains the same: a commitment to developing the amazing potential of opportunity youth.




A day of action 

"Harrisburg may be the seat of power, but you are the power." 

Check out pictures of the inaugural event here.

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Acknowledge the good stuff

Respect was something Taryn Canty-Reed, 20, felt instantly when she joined YouthBuild, a national yearlong program that helps those 16 to 24 years old earn a diploma or high-school equivalency certificate and learn a trade.

She tried some other programs, but nothing clicked. YouthBuild, she said, “makes me feel like a new and different Taryn.”

Read the New York Times story here