Our Youth Building Alternatives (YBA) program serves teens and young adults who have struggled to find their way in the traditional education system. Since 1994, we have helped high school dropouts aged 16-24 successfully transition to adulthood through an alternative education model that includes HiSET exam preparation, construction skills training, leadership development, job skills, and life skills. Through YBA, these young adults obtain important certifications including NCCER, OSHA-10, ServSafe, and more. Almost all advance toward postsecondary education or career-oriented employment. In addition to the program itself, we offer one year of follow-up services to our graduates to support their transition to continued education and the workforce.


of our Youth Building Alternatives students go on to jobs and education


young people who have dropped out of school are served each year


Maine Youth Building Alternatives participants have rehabbed four units of housing in the last three years

Why join Youth Building Alternatives?
Youth Building Alternatives can help you get your high school equivalency certificate and earn marketable skills to become a valuable candidate in the job market. It includes the following core components:

  • Education
  • Employment Skills
  • Jobs Leads
  • Leadership Skills
  • Community Service
  • Case Management

The program runs for nine months, but could be shorter or longer depending on individual needs. The daily schedule is similar to traditional high schools: Monday-Friday from 8am to 2pm with holidays off and school vacations throughout the year.

The first step to join the program is to fill out an application. Please use the button below. Once we process the application, we will contact you to schedule an interview. Please note, enrollment is not currently open. Our next enrollment window will open on July 9, 2019. In the meantime, you are welcome to complete our application!


Program Partners:
Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG)
Camp Ketcha
City of Portland
Coastal Counties Workforce Investment Board
Gebhardt Property Management
Good Shepherd Food Bank
Goodwill Workforce Solutions
Jobs for Maine’s Graduates
L.L. Bean
Maine Works
One Tree Learning Center
Paradigm Windows
Portland Housing Authority
Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce
Portland Trails
Preble Street Resource Center
Rock Coast Personnel
Sail ME
Silly’s Restaurant
Southern Maine Community College
The Marriott at Sable Oaks
Wayside Food Programs
Wolfe’s Neck Farms
YouthBuild USA
2 YouthBuild