ADVOCACY ALERT: Support the National YouthBuild Movement!

Last month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1 (the Continuing Resolution for FY’11), which proposed to cut over $60 billion in government spending for the rest of the fiscal year. The measure called for the elimination of both YouthBuild and the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps). See the proposed cuts here (PDF).

While the Senate defeated this proposal last week, it also defeated the alternative bill, which would have level-funded these programs, over concerns that there were not enough funding cuts contained in that bill. Another short-term Continuing Resolution passed, and it expires this Friday, March 18th.

Congress is likely to pass at least one more temporary extension before reaching a compromise (on Friday, the House Appropriations Committee introduced another Continuing Resolution to allow government spending to continue from March 19th to April 8th). This gives us a terrific opportunity to once again provide our elected officials with information regarding the effectiveness and scope of YouthBuild programs.

How can YOU help?

1. Call your U.S. Representatives and Senators TODAY, March 16th to urge him/her to keep YouthBuild appropriations level funded in FY’11 (see talking points for each elected official below). Showing a coordinated effort will help strengthen our cause so please, please participate.  Policymakers insist that they need to hear more from their constituents to know what is important to the people in their Districts – these phone calls do make a difference!

2. Ask Corporate Supporters to sign on to a support letter for YouthBuild. (Click here for the letter.) Corporate supporters do not need to send their signature:  just an email to mmolloy@youthbuildphilly.org telling me the name and title of the person who should be listed.  Click here for a draft email you can send to your contacts requesting their help, to be modified according to your relationship.  Our deadline is next Thursday, March 17th.

3. Sign this online petition to support YouthBuild (Click here). YouthBuild alumni from across the nation are mobilizing online to save federal YouthBuild funding. Please show your support by signing this online petition and sharing it with your friends.

CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE:
1) Go to http://www.congress.org/ and enter your zip code to find the phone number for your representatives.

2) Did they support the funding cuts?

  • Click here to find out how your US Senator voted on H.R. 1
  • Click here to find out how your US Representative voted on H.R. 1

3) USE THE TALKING POINTS
If your Senator or Representative voted NAY to H.R.1:

  • I am a constituent and would like to speak to the Legislative Assistant in charge of education issues.
  • Thank you for supporting YouthBuild by voting against H.R. 1.
  • I am calling to urge you continue to fight to keep YouthBuild level-funded in the FY’11 appropriations.
  • YouthBuild Philadelphia is one of the largest and most successful YouthBuild programs in the country and there are 11 other successful YouthBuild programs in Pennsylvania. 1680 former high school dropouts have earned a diploma through education and job training at YouthBuild Philadelphia, 77% went on to meaningful employment or post secondary education.
  • National YouthBuild* Success:
    • Complete Program: 78%
    • Earn GED/ high school diploma: 64%
    • Go onto college or employment earning more than:$9.09 per hour: 62%
    • Recidivism rates 40 percentage points lower than national average
    • Return on investment: at least $10.80 and up to $43.90 for every dollar spent on court-involved YouthBuild participant
  • BRIEF PERSONAL STORY ABOUT YOUTHBUILD
  • Thank you for your time!

If your Senator or Representative voted YEA to H.R.1:

  • I am a constituent and would like to speak to the Legislative Assistant in charge of education issues.
  • I am calling to urge you to keep YouthBuild level-funded in the FY’11 appropriations
  • There are more than 30,000 high school dropouts in Philadelphia who lack the job skills and education to acquire meaningful employment – eliminating education and training programs like YouthBuild will only magnify this problem
  • YouthBuild Philadelphia is one of the largest and most successful YouthBuild programs in the country and there are 11 other successful YouthBuild programs in Pennsylvania. 1680 former high school dropouts in Philadelphia have earned a diploma through education and job training at YouthBuild, 77% of whom went on to employment or post secondary education.
  • The average cost per participant for our 12-15 month program is $22,000, including stipends for work performed. This is less than other full-time options for unemployed young adults, such as Job Corps, college, the military, or prison. DOL provides $15,000/person; and we must obtain a 25% non-federal match.
  • Independent research by Professor Mark Cohen in 2007 shows a return on investment of at least $10.80 for every dollar spent on any court-involved YouthBuild participant, and at least $7.80 for every participant.
  • BRIEF PERSONAL STORY ABOUT YOUTHBUILD
  • Thank you for your time!

*Based on data submitted by DOL YouthBuild programs

4) How did it go? If you have an extra minute, drop us a note at info@youthbuildphilly.org.

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