YouthBuild is YCC's core program.

The purpose of this six month program is to help young people, ages 16-24, get back on track and become self-reliant. Most of the young people in this program have left high school without a diploma and are unemployed. We provide these youth with a pathway to continue their education and to learn construction skills. In addition, we teach our members lifelong career and life skills that are necessary for accomplishing their goals.

Get paid to learn!

YouthBuild members earn bi-weekly stipends that increase when members reach their educational and personal development milestones.


Many youth in Lake County face multiple barriers to success. With high rates of unemployment and poverty, and low graduation rates, these areas have a clear need for vocational training, sustainable career opportunities, alternative educational paths. YCC is committed to providing each of these, while giving young people a second chance to succeed.


The majority of our youth members that enter our YouthBuild program have not completed high school. 40% of a YouthBuild Member’s time is spent in the classroom. Our Education Director, Susan Green, specializes in teaching young people who have struggled in traditional learning environments and focuses on individualized learning to meet students where they are to help them succeed.


Construction training is an important piece of YCC’s YouthBuild program and accounts for almost half of a YCC YouthBuild Members’ time. Members learn, hone their skills, and earn industry recognized certifications as they work on real construction sites with the supervision and instruction of our construction staff members. The projects include home rehab projects, tear-downs, and constructing homes from the ground up.  The sites they work on will be sold as affordable housing units for low-income families, upon completion.

Information Technology

Approximately 25% of our members will have the opportunity to participate in the Construction PLUS program for Information Technology. Participating members will be able to receive certifications for the CompTIA‘s A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications which would qualify them for obtaining a career within the IT field. This self-paced 3-6 month certification program provides an understanding of networking, operating systems, and security for all operating systems and mobile devices.


Through lectures, workshops, and one-on-one training our on-site career specialist prepares young people to apply for positions and succeed in the workforce. Members learn communications skills, conflict management and professionalism Members receive support writing resumes, cover letters, scholarship and job applications. We aim to provide 100% placement into a career, post-secondary education, an internship, or military service for all of our members.

Life Skills

Led by our Case Manager, Fred Williams, YCC YouthBuild Members learn life skills that critical for becoming well-adjusted and employable adults. During classroom and individual sessions, Fred teaches lessons on communication skills, self-awareness, goal-setting and planning, overcoming barriers and much more.

Social Support

Thanks to a generous grant from the Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County, we are able to work with Youth & Family Counseling in Libertyville, IL to provide weekly on-site therapy sessions and trauma-related care to all of our YouthBuild members.

Community Service

As young people in our YouthBuild program are equipped with the tools to be leaders in their communities, we instill the importance of giving back within them. 

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