YouthBuild Program

YouthBuild is PYB’s flagship program of academics, vocational training courses, counseling, career development, and long term support. Along with our Bridge program, YouthBuild is a relationship-based program rooted in equity and designed with students’ best interests in mind.

This program runs year-round and students attend full-time, five days a week. Portland YouthBuilders has proudly offered the YouthBuild program since our founding in 1995.

Who Is This

Program For?

YouthBuild is the perfect choice for young people who:

    • Are between the ages of 17 to 24
    • Still need to finish high school
    • Would like to pursue a career in construction or technology
    • Are motivated to make a positive change in their lives
    • Are ready to commit to working hard to achieve their goals


    As a fully accredited high school, PYB is able to offer students in our YouthBuild program a choice between finishing high school with a GED or a high school diploma.

    Our students have typically been away from the traditional school system for a year or more. It takes immense bravery and determination to return to school when you’ve been away for a long time, or when you may feel like your last school failed you. Our certified teachers and trained tutors are experts at putting returning students at ease and introducing them to new ways of learning.

    Vocational Training

    PYB’s YouthBuild program offers two separate vocational training programs, one in construction and one in technology. Students select which vocational training courses they’ll take when they enroll, and stay on that training track throughout their time at PYB.

    YouthBuild’s construction students learn all aspects of residential construction and give back to the community by building affordable homes for local low-income families. These students receive hands-on training on real construction jobsites as they prepare to enter the construction industry.

    YouthBuild’s technology students learn how to code and learn the ins and outs of computer hardware and software. Our tech students donate their time to the community by teaching older adults how to safely use technology.

    Counseling And Leadership Development 

    A key component that makes YouthBuild work is the personalized support and deep investment that we make into each and every student. We know that many of our students struggled at their previous schools due to issues in their personal lives. PYB counselors and case management teams work together with students to identify barriers, create an action plan, and provide the resources and support necessary to help lift some of these burdens. All students receive a monthly stipend and may request emergency financial support as needed, all so they can focus on their future.

    Ample opportunities for leadership within and outside of the YouthBuild program help students increase their confidence and work ethic, all while preparing them for college or careers. All YouthBuild students are AmeriCorps members and may earn a financial award for education after wrapping up their service to the community.

    Career Development

    While YouthBuild students take vocational training courses in construction or technology, our career development staff help them translate what they’ve learned into a great job once they graduate. All YouthBuild students take in-depth career classes throughout their stay at PYB where they learn how to prepare for the world of work and research the careers that they’re best suited for.

    Every YouthBuild student has a career coach who helps the student find the right placement at the right time, whether that’s a part-time job to supplement their income during school, a college or certificate program to advance their training, or a full-time job after PYB to launch their career.

      Long Term Support

      Our relationship with a student doesn’t end after they graduate. In fact, PYB is committed to serving our YouthBuild students over the long haul, even after they’ve left our full-time program.

      Staff stay in touch with our students for a minimum of one year after graduation, oftentimes for much longer. We continue to help our alumni find work and stay in their jobs, succeed in college, and stay on the right path so they can complete their long term goals.

      Become a Student

      Does YouthBuild sound like the right place for you, or someone you know? Are you ready to get the support you need to make a change? Get in touch and we can tell you more about what you can expect at Portland YouthBuilders.