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Warner & Kaine Announce $1.5 Million in Federal Funding for Youth Education and Job Training Programs in Southwest Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, announced $1,500,000 in federal funding for the New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area Consortium to expand access to apprenticeship opportunities, prepare young workers for high-quality jobs, and strengthen Virginia’s workforce to meet growing industry demands. The funding was awarded through the Department of Labor’s (DOL) YouthBuild Program.

“We need to help young folks acquire the critical skills and training necessary to access good-paying jobs,” said the senators. “By connecting young people with education and job training, we can help the next generation of Virginian workers be successful and boost our local economies.”

The New River/Mount Rogers Workforce Development Area Consortium is a collaborative board made up of local business and community leaders who help facilitate workforce initiatives across ten counties in Southwest Virginia. They work to ensure every citizen has the skills needed to secure meaningful employment and connects local businesses with qualified, job-ready workers.

YouthBuild is a national program with six programs in Virginia, which equips opportunity youth – people ages 16 to 24 who are disconnected from school and work opportunities – with education, employment, and leadership skills. In April, Kaine cosponsored the YouthBuild for the Future Act to reauthorize this program.  

Kaine has long supported technical education and training programs for young people. In April, he reintroduced the Building U.S. Infrastructure by Leveraging Demands for Skills (BUILDS) Act, legislation to help Americans get the skills they need for in-demand infrastructure jobs. In March, he introduced the Opening Doors for Youth Act of 2024 to help at-risk youth find summer or year-long jobs that can set them up for success in future careers. Kaine and Warner also introduced the bipartisan JOBS Act to allow students to use Pell Grants for high-quality, short-term job training programs.