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PNS Daily News - September 22, 2020 

The Supreme Court vacancy raises stakes for a reproductive-rights campaign; voter-registration deadlines are just around the corner; and the pandemic compounds child-care woes.

2020Talks - September 22, 2020 

It's National Voter Registration Day. Plus, the Supreme Court and abortion are back, center stage, in the election spotlight.

Youthbuild Program Changing Lives and Neighborhoods

August 9, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa - Hope and career skills are being offered to young people without high school diplomas who might otherwise be hard to employ in the Des Moines area. They're being trained as carpenters, to then go back to their neighborhoods with the tools needed to build homes for low-income families, or to fix up houses in disrepair.

It's the Youthbuild program at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), and coordinator Cliff Kessler says it not only offers job training, but allows these students to get their GEDs.

"There's lots of programs that help people get skills, but our focus is on both education and skill-building."

The newest class starts August 26, and informational meetings on what it takes to be a part of the program begin today.

Kessler says disadvantaged youth between the ages of 18 and 24, male or female, can participate, and in previous programs, their success rate in getting and keeping jobs in the construction trade has been high.

"There is no guarantee for a job but we do help them, and we have a pretty good employment rate. Almost 43 of the 55 are working."

He says the program that starts this fall has a federal grant of $800,000 to serve a total of 45 students.

This year, DMACC is partnering with Habitat for Humanity to construct homes for needy families and seniors in Des Moines.

The informational meetings are at the Harding Hills Shopping Center August 9 and 11; the sessions begin at 3:30 and 6 p.m. both days.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA