YouthBuild Model

The YouthBuild Model is a comprehensive approach that engages low-income young people to transform their lives through training, education, and opportunity. During this full-time program, students divide their time between hands-on training at the construction site and studying at YouthBuild’s alternative school. Each member organization of the Illinois YouthBuild Coalition operates their YouthBuild Program according to the YouthBuild Model. The YouthBuild Model is flexible and can be adapted to meet the needs of the community in which it is located.

Every program is built on the five core elements of YouthBuild’s model:


Young adults attend a YouthBuild alternative school with curriculums geared toward advancing their academic career. Classes allow one-on-one attention to students. Students are able to prepare for the following: acquire literacy and numeracy gains, secondary education credentials, industry-recognized credentials, and preparation for post-secondary career and education placements and completion. 

Construction and Other Career Pathways

The Illinois YouthBuild Coalition (IYBC) is dedicated to expanding employment and career opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged young adults by advocating for an increase of quality resources and community involvement. We partner with opportunity youth to build a safe, secure, and supportive force for
change in the larger community. 

Support Services

At YouthBuild, many of the young adults need help healing from past hardships and complicated issues. These young adults participate in counseling, peer support groups, and additional resources so they can set and achieve their goals. The support services include case management, mentoring, career counseling, mental wellness resources, and life skills coaching.

Leadership Development

Opportunity youth actively learn how to improve and advocate for issues concerning their community. Through the YouthBuild program, our young people develop deeper awareness in taking responsibility and action in addressing ongoing social justice concerns.  They are learning the values and commitment that is required to be a community leader.

Alumni Success

YouthBuild programs continue to actively assist young people after they graduate! They have access to resources that help with transition placement at the next chapter in their lives. YouthBuild is responsible for guiding these young adults to move on to apprenticeships, careers, and college when they graduate from the program. 

Career Pathways

Career Pathways encourages our YouthBuild students to have more agency over their career path in order to achieve their professional goals.

YouthBuild programs connect young people with resources and classes that will help them find an internship, get a job, and complete their Career Pathway. Our YouthBuild programs prepare young people for jobs and self-employment by combining applied technical skills training with job readiness training. All of our YouthBuild students are able receive industry-recognized certifications while they train in high-demand career pathways.


The Illinois YouthBuild Coalition relies on donations to carry out our mission to expand employment and career opportunities for opportunity youth. Your gift enables IYC to support a YouthBuild Program near you. Because of you, more low-income, minority youth can receive the education, training, and resources they need.