May 18, 2011

Udall: Tohatchi Non-Profit to Receive $1.1 Million for At-Risk Youth Education, Training

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) today announced that Tohatchi Area of Opportunity & Services Inc. will receive a $1.1 million federal grant for its career education program, which provides education and job training to out-of-school youth in the Navajo Nation and northwest New Mexico.

The grant is funded through the Department of Labor's YouthBuild initiative. Since 2007, YouthBuild has provided grantees with funding to help out-of-school youth obtain their diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the construction industry. A total of 74 grantees nationwide, including Tohatchi Area of Opportunity & Services Inc., were announced this week.

"Young people who don't finish their high school education are too often left behind in an economy that is increasingly dependent on a skilled workforce. Through this program, youth in the Navajo Nation and northwest New Mexico will be able to earn their diplomas while learning a skill that will help them build a career, support their families, and give back to their communities," Udall said.

Tohatchi's career education program includes four weeks in the classroom and three weeks of instruction on a construction site. During that time, participants focus on leadership development, life skills, and safety, and receive hands-on construction training as part of a weatherization project. The program is working to incorporate more Green Build methods and materials into its processes.