Napolitano & Calvert Introduce Building Success for Youth ChalleNGe Act
(WASHINGTON, DC) Today, Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Ken Calvert (R-CA-42) introduced H.R. 1638, the Building Success for Youth ChalleNGe Act, to allow the equipment and facilities of the United States, a state, tribe, county, or local government entity to be transferred to the National Guard for the purpose of carrying out the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP).
“Each year over 1 million kids drop out of high school, leading to increased hardships for those young men and women, lost wages, and unemployment in our communities,” Napolitano said. “The Youth ChalleNGe Program is effectively addressing this dropout epidemic while greatly benefitting our local communities, our nation’s ability to compete, and our economy. As Youth ChalleNGe continues to expand in Southern California and across the country, it is critical we provide it with the necessary tools for success, and our legislation seeks to do just that. I thank Congressman Calvert for his efforts to establish a program to help at-risk youth in his area and for his commitment to ensuring no youngster falls through the cracks.”
“I’m proud to cosponsor the Building Success for Youth ChalleNGe Act and help our at-risk youth take advantage of this life changing program,” said Rep. Calvert. “It’s critical that we support programs like the National Guard’s Youth ChalleNGe that can take young adults who drop out of school and provide them with the skills necessary to become contributing members of our communities. I truly appreciate Congresswoman Napolitano’s leadership on this issue.”
- Federal law does not specifically authorize the National Guard Bureau (NGB) to receive land and/or buildings from the U.S. Department of Defense or any other federal agency for the purpose of establishing a NGYCP, nor does it specifically authorize the NGB to receive equipment from federal agencies for the purpose of carrying out the NGYCP. This has become a serious impediment to utilizing existing facilities and equipment that can be repurposed for the program and save taxpayer dollars. In addition to facilitating these transfers, H.R. 1638 would allow the NGB to work with states, tribes, counties, and local governments to identify other properties and equipment that might be mutually beneficial for a NGYCP.
- H.R. 1638 would directly impact the program’s 39 sites located in 28 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. These sites have distinguished themselves as effective and cost-efficient intervention programs for troubled, at-risk young men and women. In 2012, the Rand Corporation found that every $1.00 spent on the program results in a return of $2.66.
- Napolitano is the founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Youth ChalleNGe Caucus, a forum for Members of Congress and their staff to learn more about the Youth ChalleNGe program and work to address the epidemic of high school dropouts.
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