$1.1M Grant Funds YouthBuild Partnership for SEAT and CEO

Through a $1.1 million grant from the US Department of Labor, SEAT has now entered a formal agreement with CEO in Troy to bring its programming expertise to YouthBuild students in Rensselaer County, offering the expanded, wrap-around support so successful in Schenectady County.

A new partnership between two community-based organizations will result in greater opportunities for at-risk young adults aged 16-24 to emerge from generational poverty. The Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO), a federally-designated Community Action Agency, provides services to more than 12,000 individuals and families in Rensselaer County. The Social Enterprise and Training (SEAT) Center in Schenectady County, an affiliate of YouthBuild USA, provides a range of educational and training programs to underrepresented youth populations. A $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor YouthBuild program, the largest grant awarded this year, funds the partnership.

One of 276 YouthBuild programs operating in the United States, the program which formally lasts 9 months and can continue for up to two years is designed to engage young people needing to complete their high school education and wishing to receive career and leadership development training. With a growing range of social enterprise services that support academic and workforce development of underrepresented young people, SEAT also provides project-based, common core aligned high school equivalency classes, on the job and workforce training, case management and student support services, and career placement and tracking. SEAT has a focus on in-demand industries in the Capital Region which include construction, energy, health care, and culinary/food service.

Initiated by CEO, the two organizations will utilize SEAT’s successful and innovative workforce model to impact more than 20 young people currently being served through YouthBuild Troy, a program of CEO.

“We look forward to the collective work of SEAT & CEO in building resources and enhancing programming that will have a meaningful impact on the lives of young adults in Rensselaer County, and support economic growth in the Capital Region,” said SEAT Executive Director Jennifer Lawrence.

“Through this partnership, CEO’s YouthBuild Troy program will be able to share expertise and resources in providing alternative education, career training, and leadership development experiences to young adults in Rensselaer County,” said Katherine Maciol, CEO/President of CEO.

With this partnership, SEAT and CEO expect the program to have a meaningful impact on the lives of young adults in Rensselaer County, while supporting economic growth throughout the Capital Region.

The Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO), founded in 1965, is a federally-designated Community Action Agency which provides services to more than 12,000 individuals and families living in poverty in Rensselaer County. CEO’s programming encompasses areas of Health and Wellness, Early Childhood Education, Family and Education Support, Healthy Homes, Employment and Financial Education. CEO is built on the philosophy of treating all with dignity and respect and empowering individuals with tools and resources to build self-sufficiency.