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Media Contact: Angela Umoru-David

Role: Communications Analyst (Fellow)


Medici Road Launches 1.5. Million Dollar YouthBuild Program to Empower DC Youths for Opportunities in Under-represented Construction Careers

Washington, DC: Medici Road has today announced the launch of its YouthBuild program, following a 1.5 million dollar grant award by the U.S. Department of Labor. Medici Road will use the funding to provide hands-on training for vulnerable youths in disinvested neighborhoods and aid their transition into the construction industry.

YouthBuild is a community-based apprenticeship program that provides job training and education opportunities for at-risk youth. Specifically, the Medici Road YouthBuild program is targeting young adults aged between 16 and 24, and living in wards 5 to 8.

Medici Road Executive Director, Thomas Houston stated, “We’re excited about YouthBuild as it will give participants another shot at finishing high school. Additionally, they’ll get access to careers in the construction industry that are historically underrepresented by women and people of color. Our goal is for program graduates to stay in these careers, or pursue a bachelor’s degree, which we know will change the economic trajectory of their families and the communities in which they live.”

Over a 3-year period, the Program will equip up to 80 youths with high-demand skills and NCCER certifications through classes and apprenticeship at development sites where Medici Road is already creating employment and affordable housing units in Wards 7 and 8. They will also have the opportunity to obtain a GED, leadership development training and community service experience. All participants will receive post-apprenticeship placement and will work with their case managers to access wrap-around services to ensure program completion.

“This is the first time in 5 years that a DC-based organization is receiving this funding so it is a much-needed intervention to curb youth unemployment. We are looking forward to the positive outcomes the program will yield,” said Charles Modiano, YouthBuild USA Technical Assistance Coach.

By partnering with industry experts such as My FitFam, American Job Center, Moya Design Partners, and BHI Construction and Real Estate Development among others, the program provides a chance to leverage human-centered and racial equity approaches to invest in the youth population.

“We will be collaborating on this Program to offer hands-on architectural mentorship to the participants in the belief that by providing these opportunities, the design process is enriched with multicultural voices and perspectives. We believe that diversifying the construction industry not only enriches our communities but also offers pathways to uplift and strengthen communities of color from within,” explained Paola Moya, Chief Executive Officer, Moya Design Partners.

Participant enrollment will begin in October, 2023 and Medici Road is calling on other like-minded organizations to partner towards improving the outcomes in underserved neighborhoods.

About Medici Road: We are  a non-profit, community development organization that uses human-centered design and a racial equity approach to create long-term solutions to poverty and systemic inequities in urban cities. With 7 years of experience in working in and with low-income neighborhoods, we focus on developing education, housing, and public health solutions that drive economic development for the residents.