Programs create a program-wide career-development component that begins during admissions and Mental Toughness, and is an integral part of the daily and weekly life of the program. This component is connected to students' college, vocational, and life
- Career development is treated as an executive function. Directors and board members seek and define partnerships with relevant agencies such as unions, major contractors, and community institutions like universities and hospitals to maximize training
opportunities and line up good job openings.
- Program staff make a concentrated effort to find construction-related job placements and careers for all graduates who desire them and have performed well. Adequate staff time is dedicated to fulfilling this function.
- Non-construction jobs are identified for graduates not interested in construction.
- All students gain a thorough understanding of how to build a career track, including the ways postsecondary education-4-year, 2-year, certification programs, apprenticeships, etc.-fits into their personal track. Students get support on initiating a
career path during the program year and through the graduate resources program.
- A series of workshops or retreats prior to graduation is focused on anticipating and preparing students for the obstacles, pitfalls, and complex problems they will face on the job and in general in life beyond YouthBuild.
- Follow-up counseling and help in job seeking is available for at least 12 months after graduation.
- progress is tracked after placement, and support is provided for their continued success. Contact with employers is similarly maintained.
- The program builds a reputation for producing graduates who make good employees and for providing helpful information and support after placement.
- Students are exposed to the range of job and career options and internships available in their region: in the broad construction-related arena, green-construction careers, in the human service arena, and in other high demand careers.
- Entrepreneurial initiatives are encouraged.
- Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are set up to the extent possible for students and graduates.
- Internships within the program itself are funded to enable selected graduates to work as staff assistants in various roles.
- The program arranges for every student to have a mentor-a staff member, graduate, or volunteer- to guide, support, and assist the student in developing and implementing life plans that address personal leadership development, postsecondary education
and career planning and networking, and to encourage each student to become a mentor to others.