The Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS) is recruiting at-risk youth and young adults ages 17-24 to work for its YouthBuild Academy.

SALS officials reported young adults who have dropped out of school or have educational issues have the opportunity to complete a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) diploma and gain certification for construction work while earning a stipend. Students who complete the program receive Home Builder’s Institute certified construction skills.

“We are trying to recruit at-risk youth who have dropped out of school to work on homes in coal towns and low-income communities,” said John David, founder of SALS. “It’s a hybrid program. Half of the time, they work on TASC diplomas or educational training sessions and the other half, they work on projects rehabilitating or constructing homes and constructing green buildings.”

SALS Youth Build students will work in communities throughout Fayette County including Ansted, Gauley Bridge, Oak Hill and Montgomery.

SALS officials report while there are 150 similar projects in the U.S., this is the only one in southern West Virginia.

Youth from Fayette and all surrounding counties can apply, and the next presentation week begins soon.

Applications and information can be obtained from the Fayette Institute of Technology on Oyler Avenue in Oak Hill or online at Individuals can also call 304-465-9732 for more information.

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