Youth Build Program

Program Background and Information

  • Youth Build is a community service program in which young people renovate local housing. It is also a development program that includes the local community and business-based partners that tackle key community issues at once.

  • It is an alternative school whereby young people attend the Youth Build Program full time. In Manitoba, there is a 30 hour per week paid vocational component and a 10 hour per week unpaid academic component.

  • It is a job training and pre-apprenticeship program whereby young people are working under the supervision of a journeyperson to renovate homes and develop building skills.

  • It is a leadership development program in which young people govern the day to day operation of the program and learn the importance of participating in the community.

  • It is a youth development program in which young people participate in counselling, peer support groups and life planning exercises. This process is unique in that it assists in the healing process of past obstacles/barriers.

  • Youth Build participants learn how to live a healthy life through positive group reinforcement.


  • Youth Build participants work and learn under the supervision of the Journeyperson at the construction site.

  • During the 10 hours per week academic component the Youth Build participant will work at obtaining credits toward high school graduation and or vocational credits under the guidance of a qualified educator.

  • Peer counselling by linking participants to appropriate referral agencies eg. child care, housing, family and/or legal situations.

  • Individual and peer counselling to reflect on life goals - use of money, personal relationships, drug and personal values.

  • Classroom training in construction terminology.

  • Referral to outside resources for drug/alcohol issues or psychiatric problems.

  • Participation in cultural events that build a positive team environment.

  • Pre-employment skills focused on job seeking, and general preparation in the "world of work".

  • Assistance with integration into pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.

  • Supervised work placements.

  • Follow-up on counselling, support groups and educational opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Participants are 16-29 years of age; have dropped out of school; come from very low income families; are unemployed or underemployed; are single parents; are homeless or have the potential to become homeless; and are at risk of becoming a serious challenge to themselves or their community.

  • Participants will be recruited from many agencies eg. Justice, local youth serving organizations, income assistance recipients, employment insurance recipients, word of mouth, etc.

  • Participants must demonstrate a commitment to changing their lifestyle and an interest in construction.

Contact Us

Margaret Grandy
Program Officer
Youth Partnerships
310-800 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3G 0N4
Phone: 204-945-2930
Fax: 204-945-5726

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