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Indy Youth Build Program accepts applications for construction certification

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Employ Indy is merging education and trade through its youth build program.

Not only will young people get a construction certification, they’ll earn their General Educational Development diploma, money, and AmeriCorps volunteer hours. With construction jobs expected to boom, representatives say now is the time to act.

Within the next five years, as construction workers retire or age-out, an estimated 700 construction jobs will become available around Indianapolis. The Youth Build Program is a learning opportunity, and a chance to earn money and help out the community.

Employ Indy is again calling new recruits for its youth build program. For more than a dozen years, it’s been helping prepare the next batch of construction workers in Indianapolis.

“There is an abundance of construction jobs in and around our region, and it’s a great opportunity for any young person that’s looking to get into the industry,” said Rodney Francis, the chief program officer.

He said, in just a few years, people exiting the construction industry will leave the door open for countless numbers of youths to pick up a trade and fill roughly 700 jobs.

“There is a serious talent gap between their current staff and the demand for what they need,” Francis said.

Youth Build Program runs from the end of September until early March, and it’s special.

“They’re giving back in many ways. They’re learning. They’re growing. They are building their lives, foundation as they are laying foundations of homes for other folks,” Francis said.

Representatives say construction is one of the five industries that drives the local economy. For many, it’s a way to build economic mobility.

The deadline to register is Sept. 9.