Newport News program trains at-risk youth to fill skilled trade positions

For Immediate Release: 03.08.22

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Newport News created a program called YouthBuild, aimed at helping at-risk youth receive training and certifications for skilled trades positions.

Director Daniel Carrera said the program is for young adults ages 16-24. He said if applicants don't have their high school diploma, they will work with them to secure a GED. They also provide training to receive certifications in carpentry, HVAC, electrical and plumbing.

There have been 40 graduates since the program was founded in June 2020.

“We do not want them to have adverse situations in their lives, so we give them various opportunities and YouthBuild is that opportunity,” Carrera said.

19-year-old Michael Diaz is a recent YouthBuild graduate. He is now working as a carpenter and site superintendent with Breeden Construction in Newport News.

“I’m able to do the one thing I always wanted to do growing up, and that was to be able to work with construction,” Diaz said.


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