Ask Your Senator to Support YouthBuild in FY14 Budget

Ask Your Senator to Support YouthBuild in FY14 Budget
YouthBuild USA
April 24, 2013

Take two minutes to make your voice heard! 

This alert to ask Senators to sign onto Sen. Gillibrand's letter has expired, but you can always email your elected officials to tell them how important YouthBuild programs are to your community and your youth.  These letters of support will help senators and representatives make the right decisions in the future when it comes to funding and support of youth development programs.

The sustainability, expansion, and impact of local YouthBuild programs depend in part on an annual appropriation in the US Department of Labor.

Call or email your Senators TODAY to ask them to sign the support letter for YouthBuild in the federal budget for FY14. 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent out a letter to her colleagues in April 2013 asking them to join her in a letter to the Senate appropriations leadership calling for an increase in funding to the federal DOL YouthBuild program to $102.5M.  This would restore it to the basic appropriation level of Fiscal Year 2010 -- before the program took a 23 percent in 2011 to $80M. 

That cut caused 54 programs to close their doors to the young people who were seeking a chance to turn their lives around through YouthBuild.

The deadine to get a large group of Senators signed on is 5pm ET on Thursday, April 24.

Act now:

1) Email your Senators using SparkAction's zip code-activated Contact Congress tool. This easy-to-use tool will allow you to compose your message and email it right to the folks who need to see it.

2) Call 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator’s office. Ask to speak to the staff person in charge of appropriations for the Labor/HHS bill. If they want to sign, tell them to contact Jon Cardinal in Senator Gillibrand’s office as soon as possible.

Why support YouthBuild?

  • Research shows that YouthBuild as a successful pathway to civic leadership.
  • The percentage of YouthBuild alumni who have continued onto college is steadily rising. 
  • Corporations have revealed that they are having trouble finding qualified people for middle level jobs.
  • It's a return on investment for the whole country: Every out-of-school unemployed youth who gets back on track to education and employment saves the taxpayer $236,000 directly and $704,000 in social costs over his or her lifetime.

History of support for YouthBuild in Congress

In 2012, 43 Senators signed on to a bi-partisan support letter led by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).   While both of these Senators are no longer serving in Congress, many of the supporters who signed the letter still are.  It was an unusually long list for any budget letter last year -- showing how broad the support is for YouthBuild programs. See the full list of signers below.

With the renewed emphasis of the Obama administration on education, employment, closing the skills gap, creating ladders out of poverty, social innovation from the grassroots, green building, inclusion of low income people in national service as service givers and diminishing street violence and crime, now is the time to advocate vigorously for YouthBuild, a proven program with a high return on investment that addresses the administration’s domestic priorities. 

YouthBuild is a proven program model with an effective delivery that needs no new legislation or dramatic change. More funds can go an amazing way to help more young people in more communities.


Signers of the 2012 YouthBuild Letter





Mark Begich (D)

Barbara Boxer (D)

Michael Bennet (D)

Richard Blumenthal (D)


Diane Feinstein (D)











Thomas Carper (D)

Bill Nelson (D)

Daniel Akaka Sr. (D)

Dick Durban (D)

Chris Coons (D)












John Kerry (D)

Barbara Mikulski (D)

Olympia Snowe (R)

Carl Levin (D)



Susan Collins (R)

Debbie Stabenow (D)







North Carolina

North Dakota

Al Franken (D)

Max Baucus (D)

Kay Hagan (D)

Kent Conrad (D)

Amy Klobuchar (D)

Jon Tester (D)







New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

Jean Shaheen (D)

Frank Lautenberg (D)

Jeff Bingaman (D)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D)


Robert Menendez (D)

Tom Udall (D)

Charles Schumer (D)








Rhode Island

Sherrod Brown (D)

Jeff Merkley (D)

Robert Casey Jr (D)

Jack Reed (D)


Ron Wyden (D)


Sheldon Whitehouse (D)









Mark Warner (D)

Bernie Sanders (D)

Maria Cantwell (D)

Herbert Kohl (D)


Patrick Leahy (D)







West Virginia




Joe Manchin III (D)




John Rockefeller IV (D)






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