Congressman Sean Maloney

Representing the 18th District of New York
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Maloney Calls on President Trump to Save Critical Funding for Youthbuild/AmeriCorps

Apr 3, 2017
Press Release
After Receiving Fundamental Training to Help Identify Drug Overdoses, Youthbuild/AmeriCorps Student Dwayne Joyner Used Narcan to Save Man’s Life

Under President Trump’s Budget Proposal, Program Could Lose Necessary Funding

Poughkeepsie, NY— Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) joined Youthbuild/AmeriCorps student Dwayne Joyner and Nubian Directions Youthbuild AmeriCorps Partnership Director Mario Johnson to call on President Donald Trump to fully fund the Youthbuild/AmeriCorps Program and increase access to life-saving medication such as Naloxone to help save individuals suffering from opioid and substance-related drug overdoses. Last week, The Poughkeepsie Journal reported that Joyner was able to save the life of an unconscious man who had suffered from an opioid-related overdose in Poughkeepsie by administering naloxone nasal spray and utilizing the skills he learned during a Youthbuild/AmeriCorps training. According to a report in the Washington Post, if Congress passed President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, “gone would be $35 million in funding for well-known programs such as YouthBuild.”

“I could not be prouder of Dwayne Joyner for springing into action when it was clear someone in our community was in danger – and I want to thank the Youthbuild program that gave Dwayne the tools he needed to save this man from overdosing. We need more young people like Dwayne, and we need more programs and access to Narcan for our communities who are being ravaged by this devastating epidemic,” said Rep. Maloney. “Unfortunately, instead of supporting Youthbuild, President Donald Trump’s budget would make enormous cuts to critical organizations like Youthbuild and Americorps – he should knock it off and fully fund this program so it can continue to help our young people and save lives.”

“We are extremely proud of Dwayne, his compassion and ability to administer Narcan to save a man’s life just one day after receiving Narcan training. He is truly a hero and an example of what can happen when young people gain access to opportunities available to them in YouthBuild and AmeriCorps,” said Robert Wright, Executive Director of the YouthBuild AmeriCorps program.

In 2015, Rep. Maloney wrote a letter of support and then secured a $1.1 million Youthbuild grant for Nubian Directions II in Poughkeepsie. This year, Rep. Maloney joined dozens of his colleagues in signing onto a letter urging robust funding for the Youthbuild program. A copy of the letter is below.  

The Honorable Tom Cole

Chair Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education

2358-B Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515   

 

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro

Ranking Member

Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on   Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education

1016 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

 
Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro: 
 
We write in strong support of the U.S. Department of Labor's YouthBuild program in Fiscal Year 2018.  We respectfully request that you include robust levels of funding for this important program. 
 
Reauthorized in 2014, YouthBuild is a Federal program first established in 1992. Young people between the ages of 16 and 24, who left high school without a diploma, apply and enroll in YouthBuild for an average of ten months.  The program includes an equal division between helping them earn their high school diploma or equivalent and teaching hands-on, job skills by building affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in their communities. 
 
In addition to construction, some young people train for jobs in other emerging job sectors, such as healthcare, technology, and customer service. To date, over 160,000 students in 44 states have built more than 35,000 units of affordable housing in low-income communities and performed more than 49.5 million hours of community service. 
 
YouthBuild programs can helps at-risk young people realize their full potential.  YouthBuild programs provide holistic, full-time services; there is a strong emphasis on education, job training, counseling, mentoring, leadership development, and community service.  With the right approach and engagement, low-income, young people who left high school without a diploma become assets to their communities, and productive, working citizens.  Compared to highly motivated individuals receiving alternative services, YouthBuild participants are - 

·         78% more likely to attain a GED; 

·         51% more likely to enroll in vocational school; 

·         33% more likely to enroll in college; 

·         23% more likely to earn more than $10 per hour. 

The nation's ability to reconnect unemployed and undereducated young adults is essential to our economic productivity.  Moreover, local programs are required to raise a 25% non-federal match, leveraging private funds to maximize impact.  YouthBuild graduates are also 11% more likely to live with their children, 6% less likely to be dependent on government benefits, and 76% more likely to serve their community.   A recent study found that YouthBuild's preventative and alternative services currently save taxpayers an estimated $70 million in public assistance spending and reduces spending on crime by $100 million.  
 
We hope that the Committee will include robust levels of funding in fiscal year 2018.  As always, we greatly appreciate your consideration of our views, and thank you for your previous support of YouthBuild's work and mission. 
  

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