Bulletin Staff Report

Local educational nonprofit Heart of Oregon Corps will receive a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced Wednesday.

The funds will help Heart of Oregon’s YouthBuild program, which helps at-risk teens graduate high school or complete an equivalent program by putting them in pre-apprenticeship programs. Through vocational training, the students work on conservation projects, build affordable housing for low-income or homeless people and more.

“I grew up building things and working with my hands and learned lessons that have stayed with me through my life,” Merkley said in a press release from his and Wyden’s offices. “YouthBuild gives kids an opportunity to develop practical job skills and keep them on track to get an education. There are lots of pathways to success, and this YouthBuild grant will help provide an extremely valuable option for students in Central Oregon.”

The grant is part of an $85 million grant from the Labor Department to 81 YouthBuild programs in 32 states.