Program helping train young adults for in-demand careers

Youth Build for ages 17-24 through CareeerSource

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Finding a career can be pretty tough if you're a millennial with no work experience. Thankfully, there's a program in Pinellas County working to get young people trained and on the path to success.

Tavaris Jones knows the tools of success. It's thanks to training through the Youth Build program at CareerSource Pinellas.

"They actually gave me a good guideline to follow for being a young man who loves to work," said Jones.

Before Youth Build, he'd only worked fast food jobs. With three young kids, he knew he needed a career.  

"I have to look at them every day and I have to provide for my family like a young many is supposed to," Jones said.

Youth Build is designed to help build up those ages 17 to 24 who face barriers to employment. Once enrolled, they can get help with a high school diploma or GED and industry certifications for high-demand jobs.

"We need young labor, tradesman, coming in to help and continue good quality construction," Prescott Metcalf, PJ Callaghan Construction account manager.

In addition to learning the ropes of a trade, Youth Build students get some added perks, including a stipend of up to $5,000.

"We also can help with uniforms, work attire and work-related tools," said Jennifer Brackney, CareerSource special projects director.

Tavaris is now making a good living and loves his job. He hopes other young people will see Youth Build as a hand up in finding success.

"There's no easy way. You just have to keep trying, keep pushing. Always keep your head up. There's  somebody out there willing to help and you help yourself you help yourself," Jones said.

To see if you qualify or would like to apply for the Youth Build program, head here.

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