Santa Fe YouthBuild

About Santa Fe YouthBuild  

YouthBuild is a federally funded 12-month program that empowers at-risk youth with the experience, education, support, and tools to achieve their vocational and leadership goals. Santa Fe YouthBuild program participants prepare to take the GED and participate in vocational skill development programs where students gain construction or culinary skills. Participants attend the program for four days per week and receive training, education, and a stipend. After completing the YouthBuild program, graduates receive 12 months of follow-up services that include job placement support.

Why YouthBuild in Santa Fe, New Mexico?

Santa Fe YouthBuild plays a critical role in uplifting youth and enabling them to become contributing members of their communities. Obstacles to success include youth unemployment rates in Santa Fe County that were approximately 19% in 2018, compared to the national unemployment rate of 9% for a comparable age group. Challenges to unemployment begin with low high school graduation rates in Santa Fe County, which were 68.3% in 2018 compared to the State average of 72% and a national average of 84.6%. The cost of housing in Santa Fe is 29% higher than the national average. Santa Fe YouthBuild is not only committed to improving these statistics but to creating a workforce that can meet the demands for builders and culinary professionals in Santa Fe.  YouthBuild’s participants are demonstrating their commitment to Santa Fe during the COVID-19 crisis by preparing and distributing meals to students who relied on school meals to fill meal gaps.


SF YouthBuild Accomplishments

  • YouthBuilders complete the constructions of 2-3 homes each year in collaboration with Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity
  • Preparation and delivery of daily meals for local schools, community groups, and contracts with the City of Santa Fe to support unhoused residents
  • YouthBuilders take on leadership roles in the community
  • YouthBuilders obtain their GED just weeks or months after entering the program
  • YouthBuilders graduate from the program and continue on to paid apprenticeships, job placements, and college and or technical education programs
  • 100% of Santa Fe YouthBuild Construction Plus Culinary Arts team attained their college credits after they had completed and exceeded the anticipated on the job-training in the YouthWorks kitchen at El Rancho de Las Golondrinas (this attainment is in alignment with the Restaurant Ready curriculum).
  • YouthBuilders in the construction program obtain their NCCER 

Interested in applying to Santa Fe YouthBuild?

We accept applications to our Santa Fe YouthBuild program on a rolling basis but generally runs for a calendar year starting in the spring with a rolling start date for individuals.

Please contact YouthBuild Program Director Brice Williams to learn more about the program and about how to apply: 

Santa Fe YouthBuild Programs

Santa Fe YouthBuild students alternate between classroom days and job site days. In the classroom students work with our skilled GED instructors to work towards attaining their GED, taking practice tests and real GED subject test based on individual goals and preparedness. Santa Fe YouthBuild hosts construction and construction plus programs that support students in gaining both transferrable and technical skills as they work through their year in the YouthBuild program. YouthWorks assists program graduates with job search assistance and placement and ongoing support services including counseling and case management for one-year after the student’s graduation from the program.

GED Instruction and Attainment

YouthBuild participants study with GED instructors every other day in the YouthWorks classroom. Students are supported to learn at their own pace with the support of group lessons and individualized attention to achieve learning and testing goals, and ultimately for every student to attain their GED. 


YouthBuild Students who join the Construction program track will work together over the year to complete the construction of three affordable and energy efficient homes for low income families in coordination with Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity. YouthBuild Construction training follows the National Center for Construction Education and Research curriculum and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) construction site safety requirements. Students on the Construction track work towards attaining NCCER and OSHA certifications over the YouthBuild year. 

Construction Plus

YouthBuild students who join the Construction Plus track complete training, certification courses, and gain college credit in the field of culinary arts and hospitality. YouthWorks Culinary Arts Program works in partnership with El Rancho de las Golondrinas where we utilize their commercial kitchen and prepare after school meals and food for our special events and catering social enterprise. Students on the Construction Plus track complete Culinary Fundamentals curriculum and job site training that together enable the students to gain transferable college credits.