YouthBuild, a program of Spero Family Services, has been awarded a $864,000 grant from the US Department of Labor.  YouthBuild has been serving young adults in Jefferson and Marion counties since 2006 and continues to be an asset to the community.

YouthBuild is a federally funded, education and training program that helps at-risk youth complete high school or state equivalency degree programs, earn industry-recognized credentials for in-demand occupations, and undergo training to build housing for low-income or homeless individuals and families in their communities. “This was a very competitive grant process and we’re excited to be able to continue this important service. We will begin taking applications in late summer for our next cohort of students to begin this fall,” says Mandy Bernard, Spero Community Services Director.


One of the largest aspects of the YouthBuild program is the way they give back to the community while learning a skill.  Over the years, YouthBuild participants have partnered with the City of Centralia to build two shade shelters for the dog park, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, rehabilitated multiple homes in Mt. Vernon, and assisted community members in need with the construction of ramps for their homes.“We are excited to be fully funded for another two years and for what this means for the young people in our community,” says Cheryl Young, Program Manager.

This is a free program.  Anyone interested should apply online at