YouthBuild USA (YouthBuild) is a national youth leadership program designed to improve education and employment outcomes for opportunity youth (individuals between the ages of 16 to 24, who are neither in school nor employed). 233 local programs across 46 states use the YouthBuild model in their communities. The program’s goal is to help these youth attain high school diplomas or equivalency credentials, obtain occupational skills and experience, develop leadership skills, and deepen their commitment to service in their communities. YouthBuild recently expanded its service stream to include skill development in other in-demand industries such as health care, computer technology, and environmental services.

Study Goals:

The goal of this return on investment (ROI) analysis report was to identify the cost-benefit measure the benefits of the YouthBuild AmeriCorps program against costs. The benefits and program costs are associated with AmeriCorps State and National members, who are also YouthBuild program participants.


The ROI analysis report found the following:

  • 72.5 percent of YouthBuild AmeriCorps participants who completed the YouthBuild AmeriCorps program were placed in a job post-service.
  • Of YouthBuild AmeriCorps participants who did not have a high school diploma or equivalency pre-service and who completed the YouthBuild AmeriCorps program, 67.8 percent obtained one post-service.
  • 12.8 percent of YouthBuild AmeriCorps participants who completed the YouthBuild AmeriCorps program enrolled in post-secondary education post-service.
  • 59.9 percent of YouthBuild AmeriCorps program participants completed the program and earned an education award post-service.

Learn more on the methodology used in the YouthBuild AmeriCorps’ ROI analysis report as well the benefits and costs discovered after the ROI was calculated. Download the:

Full Report

Research Brief


Return on Investment (ROI) Studies

AmeriCorps and its grantees have invested significant resources in evaluating different agency programs and supported program models designed to improve a range of outcomes for national service members and volunteers, children, families, organizations, and communities across America. AmeriCorps has commissioned ICF International to conduct ROI analyses to help measure the program performance and build the base of evidence for future resource allocation decisions. In addition, each ROI study helps AmeriCorps communicate the value of its programs to relevant stakeholders. The ROI Studies Project will produce 16 ROI assessments from FY20 to FY23. 


Full report

Further information

ROI: YouthBuild AmeriCorps, Building Evidence for AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Supported Programs
Implementing Organization
AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation Commissioned Report
AmeriCorps Program(s)
AmeriCorps State and National
Social Innovation Fund
Age(s) Studied
13-17 (Adolescent)
18-25 (Young adult)
Focus Population(s)/Community(s)
Opportunity Youth
Outcome Category
Improving AmeriCorps
Nonprofit development
Study Type(s)
Cost-benefit or Cost Effectiveness Study
Study Design(s)
Quasi-experimental (QED)
ICF International
Published Year