Additional Information about Best Practices

The handbooks and curricula listed below are available from YouthBuild USA e-store, which is accessible through the YouthBuild USA Web site,

All of these are important ongoing resources and references for implementing all program components. We recommend reading the handbooks before starting a YouthBuild program. The first YouthBuild Program Manual was forged out of experiences from the first YouthBuild programs, which existed from 1984-1988, during which time five out of nine programs failed and were defunded within two years. We saw the need for clear and thorough advice up front. The YouthBuild Program Manual was updated in 1993 based on the experience of 12 new sites around the country and again in 1996 after 100 new programs were implemented.

Handbooks and Resource Guides

  • YouthBuild Program Manual
  • Handbook of Leadership Development Handbooks endorsed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development:
    • Construction Training at a Youthbuild Program
    • Leadership Development at a Youthbuild Program
    • Education at a Youthbuild Program
    • Opportunities for Graduates of a Youthbuild Program
  • YouthBuild Policy Committee Handbook
  • YouthBuild Appendices (job descriptions, sample staffing plans, contracts, etc.)
  • Mental Toughness Handbook
  • Leadership Competencies Handbook
  • Counseling at a YouthBuild Program (Updated HUD counseling handbook, not reviewed by HUD)
  • Guide to Expanding Opportunities in Trade Unions
  • Shades of Green: A Green Building Guide for Youth-Build Affiliates
  • Articles on the Educational Component of the YouthBuild Program


  • Working Hands, Working Minds curriculum guides (integrating construction and academics):
    • Teamwork and Leadership
    • Health and Safety
    • Math and Measurement
    • Tools and Technology
    • Housing and Community
  • Building Your Money Skills: Taking Charge of Your Future
  • Blueprint for Democracy: A Curriculum on Civic Engagement
  • Career Development Curricula Review

Videos, articles, posters, and banners are also available from the YouthBuild USA e-store.