Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced $45.5 million in grants to assist students aged 16-24 in earning a high school diploma and receiving job training for the construction trades.

These Youthbuild grants are expected to be offered to about 3,075 students and will support the construction of 702 homes for low-income families that will serve as training for the grant program participants, according to the HUD announcement.

Jackson said in a statement, “With a modest investment by HUD, we can help these young people graduate high school, start them on a new career path, and create more affordable homes for families who might otherwise be living on our streets.”

The Youthbuild program is transitioning from HUD to the U.S. Department of Labor, HUD also announced. “This transfer represents the fulfillment of a 2003 White House Task Force Report on Disadvantaged Youth and resulted in the passage of The Youthbuild Transfer Act, signed by President Bush in September, according to the announcement.

Grants were awarded to programs in 26 states and in Washington, D.C. Most grant recipients received either $400,000 or $700,000 each to support the training.

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