Nearly 4,000 young people who never finished high school will get a second chance to receive their diplomas while learning valuable home-building skills through a grant program announced Monday by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.

The $54 million in grants are part of HUD’s Youthbuild Program to offer job training and leadership skills to young people, ages 16-to-24, while putting them back on a path toward graduation. These grants will help train them for a future in the construction trades while producing more than 1,000 homes for lower-income families.

“This funding will offer hope and opportunity to young men and women across the country,” said Jackson. “Youthbuild enables them to return to the classroom, acquire construction skills and put their minds and hands to work producing more affordable housing in their own communities.”

Program participants will receive on-the-job training in the building trades and help build and renovate homes that are then sold at affordable prices to low- and very low-income persons, as well as to homeless individuals and families.

HUD is a federal agency that implements housing policy.

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