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Program helps create new opportunities for young Montana adults

Youth Build.jpg
Posted at 1:05 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 15:06:34-04

HELENA - Youth Build by the non-profit Career Training Institute helps people earn their HISET while gaining valuable construction and life experience.

“It helps people like me. Since I was a dropout, I never thought I'd be able to get on my feet really easily. But with the help of the program, I was able to not only get on my feet, but I was able to do more than just get on my feet,” says program graduate Sean Smith.

The seven-month program is for 16-to-24-year-olds looking to earn a high school diploma equivalent and/or a Construction certificate. Students primarily split their time between learning high school basics in a classroom setting and construction training. In addition, students go on field trips, participate in service projects, learn computer skills, kitchen skills, and a whole plethora of life skills that will help them succeed beyond the classroom walls.

“Just try to expose the young people to as many opportunities as we can because they have come from situations where maybe they aren't, they don't realize there's so many opportunities that are available to them,” says Lisa Newman, Program Manager at the Career Training Institute.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, someone with a high school diploma makes over $700 more per month than someone without a diploma. The unemployment rate is also lower for someone with a diploma. Additionally, trade jobs such as carpentry, construction trades supervisor, and electricians typically require a high school diploma.

This is one of the main reasons that Career Training Institute is working to get young people their high school equivalent diplomas and experience in a trade.

“We want everybody who comes into our program to succeed. Just meet us halfway, because we have a lot of resources and if we don't have resources here we'll help find those resources that’ll help you be successful,” says Newman.

Youth Build is a free program and begins in August. You can find more information here: