Our mission is to provide underserved young adults with the education, training and life skills necessary to become gainfully employed and build a better future. Here at YouthBuild, we believe that every young person has the power to succeed and create a better life for themselves and their families with access to the right resources and support system. We offer free programs for underserved youth in Lake County to obtain their high school diploma, earn industry-recognized credentials and certifications, develop career readiness skills, and complete hands-on work experience so they can move into careers, college or vocational schools.
Complete your high school diploma and/or enroll in college or a vocational school.
From construction to healthcare, we offer a variety of in-demand career pathways. Our staff is dedicated to your success and will help you find what’s right for you.
We encourage giving back to your community through construction and community service. Be empowered today, so you can be a leader tomorrow.
We know social and emotional wellbeing are important to overall success. Our team is ready to provide you with the resources you need to thrive from the inside out.
Learn how to network and present yourself professionally - it’s essential to building a better future. With the right tools under your belt, you can achieve your goals and make your dreams come true.
In 2003, we offered our first program to 35 young people as a program run through Daisy’s Resource Center. In 2004 YouthBuild Lake County was incorporated and began offering the YouthBuild Program. That year we served 45 youth.
Following YouthBuild USA’s model, we offer education, counseling, leadership, career training, and job placement for underserved youth ages 17-24. Through our 6-month program, youth earn their high school diploma, earn industry recognized credentials, participate in counseling and wellness services and learn job readiness skills. Our program model also teaches the value of giving back to the community in which you live. Since opening our doors, we have served over 1000 youth who have provided well over 120,000 hours of community service through their construction work and volunteering.
Our training programs go beyond earning a high school diploma. We offer career training opportunities in Construction, HVAC, Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics, Healthcare, Information Technology (IT), and Automotive. Our high school diploma attainment program increases academic support for secondary education completion. Today, YBLC serves over 75 young people each year, and provides follow-up assistance to hundreds of alumni. YBLC Inc. is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c)(3) organization, with a 509 (a)(1) designation.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Tameka Wilson, YouthBuild Lake County has continued to grow and expand its impact on our community. In 2022, we began offering a Department of Labor approved Pre-Apprentice program to help prepare any Illinois resident, age 18 or older, to enter a DOL apprenticeship at the end of this 12-week program. This program, funded by Illinois Works, provides trainees with industry recognized credentials, on site experience, tutoring for Union apprenticeship tests, supportive services and more.
Looking forward, YouthBuild is currently in the process of implementing a Department of Labor approved Building Maintenance & Repair Apprenticeship, which will help apprentices gain a working knowledge of repairing utilities, appliances, and other common residential devices. This program will prepare its graduates to begin successful careers as Facility Maintenance Technicians, a job in high demand within the Midwest.
As we continue to grow our programming, YouthBuild Lake County also increases its staffing, facility, and financial needs. In 2022, YBLC’s senior staff and our Board of Directors created our three-year Strategic Plan that will help guide YouthBuild Lake County’s direction as we move into a new future and continue to grown our impact in our community. Click below to read the strategic plan and learn more about our extremely bright future.