Youth working on a construction site

The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) partnered in a pilot program to assess substance use among YouthBuild participants using the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment model (SBIRT) developed by SAMHSA.

The structure of the partnership between SAMHSA and ETA and of the pilot project includes the following elements:

  • A partnership sparked by membership in the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP)
  • Designated ETA and SAMHSA staff that worked closely throughout the pilot project to share information between agencies
  • The selection of geographically representative pilot sites with interest, need, and the capacity to implement the SBIRT model
  • An adapted SBIRT tool to fit the YouthBuild program model.

Promising practices include the following:

  • Increased awareness of substance use as a barrier to employment
  • Resources, training, and technical assistance to support implementation of the SBIRT model
  • Revised program level policies to reflect knowledge of substance use as a barrier to employment
  • Established links with community-based organizations as resource to further support youth struggling with substance use.

ETA and SAMHSA learned the following lessons from their collaborative work.

  • The pilot program helped illustrate the value of the SBIRT model within the YouthBuild program model.
  • Ongoing training and capacity building is important to address staff turnover
  • Strategies and creativity are necessary to address the challenge of a transient youth population.

Learn about the pilot's accomplishments and see additional resources for more information about the YouthBuild pilot project and SAMHSA and ETA partnership.