September Client of the Month: Ulster YouthBuild

Ulster YouthBuild, September’s Client of the Month, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to giving young adults a second chance at earning their high school diploma while learning leadership and life skills, and receiving occupational skills training in housing construction. 

Ulster YouthBuild started in 1994 with a grant from the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) awarded to BOCES. Bonnie Landi was the first Program Director hired for the program, and while the organization has undergone some changes over the years, Bonnie has remained on as the Executive Director of the YouthBuild program with Frank Neglia as the Program Director for operations. 

The organization recruits candidates from Kingston, NY and surrounding Ulster County areas.  Candidates must be between the ages of 16-24 to be eligible and must attend a two-week Mental Toughness Orientation that is designed to assess their commitment to participate.  Based on their attitude, attendance, and commitment during the MTO, they are invited to join the program—enrollment is not automatic. No one is ever turned away from applying, but they learn at the very beginning that YouthBuild gives everyone a chance as long as they are committed. If they are committed to the mission of YouthBuild, they can be successful and change the direction of their lives and their future. 

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Throughout the course of the ten month program, in addition to earning their NYS GED high school diploma, students will learn several different life skills and certifications, including: leadership development, on-the-job construction skills training, manufacturing skills training, job readiness, OSHA10, CPR/first aid/Narcan, a Home Builders Institute Pre-Apprentice Construction Training (PACT) credential, and ToolingU CMfgA. 

To date, YouthBuild has constructed an impressive 31 homes in the area, with all homes being sold to first-time low-income homebuyers. The organization has a number of employer partners that are willing to hire graduates of the program, including Viking Manufacturing, Tower Manufacturing, Howmet Aerospace Manufacturing, FALA Technologies Manufacturing, All County Waterproofing & Works, Rotron, Bart Hills Tree Service, Gentle Office Cleaning Service, Herzogs, Mullen Construction, Nugget Properties, Wolf Construction, Saugerties Parks & Rec, and RUPCO.

Ulster YouthBuild has been insured by Ryan & Ryan Insurance Brokers since January 2022. When asked why they chose R&R as their insurance agency, Bonnie responded by stating:

“Ryan & Ryan was the best fit for Ulster YouthBuild because it seemed like they wanted to help us and were willing to go the extra mile to ensure we had great insurance coverage. They are always responsive to our needs and promptly answer any questions we have.”

Ulster YouthBuild is always looking for additional employers willing to hire their graduates and welcome any new companies, so if interested, please contact Bonnie Landi at 845-399-2757. And if you, or someone you know, could use the healthy and supportive environment that our September Client of the Month offers, visit the Ulster YouthBuild website for more information.