PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A federal grant could help many at-risk people in the Portland area find jobs through the LearningWorks Youth Building Alternatives program.
The YBA program provides alternative education for people between the ages of 16 and 24. According to LearningWorks officials, the program helps improve students' reading and math skills while providing assistance in finding employment.
LearningWorks officials announced at a news conference Monday that Youth Building Alternatives has received a $975,000 grant award from the United States Department of Labor to fund the program for two years.
Portland Public Schools partners with LearningWorks, and school officials said the new grant money will provide more opportunities for students who don't seek traditional classroom education.
"As we do this work collectively, and collaborate and identify students who are at risk and provide them with the appropriate set of supports, certainly here at LearningWorks, we can ensure that all students get to that finish line and are prepared for the next level," Portland Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk said.
State labor department officials said the grant money will only help more students find jobs, and help contribute to lowering the state's 6.8 percent unemployment rate.