Office of Systems Planning

Urban Youth Corps (UYC) Program

Program manager

Stacy Lentsch
Phone: 515-239-1686

* NOTE: It is anticipated that $80,000 will be available for this year’s program; however, the award has not yet been finalized by the Iowa Transportation Commission. In anticipation that this award does become final in March 2017 and in order to allow successful applicants to begin projects on time during the project period, applications will be due March 1, 2017.


For more information see FHWA Q&A for Youth Services and Conservation Corps
  • Offering meaningful, full-time work for individuals between the ages of 16 and 21 in a transportation setting, who face barriers to employment.
  • Give participants a mix of work experience, basic and life skills, education, training and support services.
  • Provide participants with the opportunity to develop citizenship values and skills through service to their communities and the United States.

Eligible Activities

For more information see FHWA - Title 23, United States Code
  • Pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
  • Safe routes for non-drivers projects and systems.
  • Conversion and use of abandoned railway corridors including for pedestrian and bicycle trails.
  • Construction of turnouts, overlooks and viewing areas.
Mahaska Urban Youth Corp program activity
  • Community improvement activities including:
    • Inventory, control or removal of outdoor advertising.
    • Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities.
    • Vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species and provide erosion control.
    • Archeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of transportation projects eligible under title 23.
  • Any environmental mitigation activity
  • Safe Routes to School program (must be within two miles of a school K thru 8 to be eligible):
    • Infrastructure-related projects: Planning, design and construction of infrastructure-related projects on any public road or bicycle/pedestrian pathway in vicinity of schools that will substantially improve the ability of students to walk and bicycle to school.
    • Noninfrastructure-related activities to encourage walking and bicycling to school.

Applicants are encouraged to be creative and innovative in their program design.

Ineligible Activities:

Note: Some items previously eligible are no longer eligible.
  • Safety and educational activities for Pedestrian and bicycle.
  • Acquisition of scenic easements and scenic or historic sites.
  • Scenic or historic highway programs (including visitor and welcome centers).
  • Historic preservation as an independent activity unrelated to historic transportation facilities.
  • Operation of historic transportation facilities.
  • Archeological planning and research undertaken for proactive planning.
  • Transportation museums.

Project period

Projects will be funded for all or part of a five-month period beginning May 1 each year and ending September 30 each year.

Participating agencies

Mahaska Urban Youth Corp program activity

Nonprofit private and public agencies are chosen through a request for proposal process. The request for proposal application form and selection criteria are available upon request from the Iowa Department of Transportation, 800 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa 50010; or telephone 515-239-1738. The application form must be submitted by close of business March 1. Each participating agency is required to provide 30 percent of the total project costs as the local matching requirement. No more than 10 percent of the total project cost may be in-kind services. The remaining 20 percent must be in the form of cash.

Selection system

Three persons designated by the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation independently score each application using a 100-point system. The scores are averaged and the applications receiving the highest scores are recommended for funding.

A maximum of 50 points for program design factors including a variety and quality of work projects, comprehensiveness of safety program, involvement with the private sector, adequacy of recruiting and selection system, and completeness of response; 30 points for the degree the proposal provides participants with work skills, job retention skills, job search techniques and work ethic; and 20 points is given for budget factor including accuracy of budget calculations, budget detail provided, allowable costs, commitment of local match, etc. See more information on the rating system below.

Youth served

To be eligible to participate in the Urban Youth Corps an applicant must be at least 16 years of age but no older than 21 years of age at time of application, unemployed, posses a minimum level of work skills and face specific barriers to employment. Applicants must identify the specific employment barriers which their program will address.

Grant awards

A total of $100,000 in federal funds will be available. These funds may be awarded to one or more programs at the discretion of Iowa DOT and must be matched with local cash and in-kind contributions equaling 30 percent of the total budget.

MYEP Urban Youth Corp program activity

Rating system

The program has two primary objectives upon which the rating will be based.

  • To provide transportation-related employment and training opportunities to youth between the ages of 16 and 21 who face barriers to employment.
  • To accomplish meaningful and productive improvements to transportation facilities.
30 percent
  • What types of education for safety, work skills, life skills, job retention and working with the public?
  • What types of youth leadership is demonstrated in the experience of the in-the-field leaders?
20 percent
  • Adequacy of recruitment and to find youth facing barriers in life and work.
  • What kinds of barriers are being sought?
  • What diversity in job barriers desired for the project?
20 percent
  • Budget factor, including accuracy of budget calculations, budget detail provided, allowableness of costs, and commitment of local match.
  • Support of others demonstrated through partnerships, outside staffing, funding, etc.
10 percent
  • Youth will be functioning in a safe working environment with appropriate tools, supplies and safety equipment.
10 percent
  • What is the quality and variety of work projects?
  • Innovativeness of the work projects.
  • Demonstrated relationship to transportation.
  • Need for work by state, population and communities.
10 percent
  • Will the youth have an opportunity to work with the media, public and sponsors selling the project?

Youth safety

Per - Teenagers under 18 are not allowed to work in dangerous or hazardous jobs, such as:
  • In or about plants or establishments manufacturing or storing explosives or articles containing explosive components.
  • Logging or the operation of any sawmill, lath mill, shingle mill or cooperage-stock mill.
  • Operating power-driven woodworking machines.
  • Working where exposed to radioactive substances or to ionizing radiations.
  • Operating elevators or other power-driven hoisting apparatus.
Dubuque Urban Youth Corp program activity
  • Operating power-driven metal forming, punching or shearing machines.
  • Slaughtering, meat packing establishments or rendering plants.
  • Operating certain power-driven bakery machines or paper products machines.
  • Operating circular saws, band saws or guillotine shears.
  • Wrecking, demolition or ship breaking operations.
  • Roofing, excavating or mining operations.
  • Working in or about foundries, but may work in the office, shipping or assembly area.
  • Operating laundry, dry cleaning or dyeing machinery.
  • Working where exposed to lead fumes or compounds or to dangerous or poisonous dyes or chemicals.
  • Transmitting, distributing or delivering goods or messages between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., includes telemarketing.
  • Operating or assisting to operate power machines or driving heavy equipment.

Local matching requirement

Thirty percent of the total project costs must be provided from local sources. A minimum of 20 percent of the total project cost must be in the form of cash and a maximum of 10 percent may be in the form of in-kind services directly applicable to the operation of the project.

Program requirements

  • Starting with the 2009 round of applications/projects, the audit requirements are not warranted for the UYC program. This was decided due to the A-133 General Audit Standard and information from the Federal Highway Administration and Iowa DOT's external audit section. Because each of the project sponsors is not awarded more than $100,000, the external audit section waives the audit requirement. The A-133 audit requirements state the project sponsor needs to expend more than $500,000 in a fiscal year to meet the audit requirement. Because this is not the case, all projects starting on March 1, 2009, will no longer have an audit requirement and will not have the expense reimbursed.
  • Reimbursement: All contracting agencies must submit supporting documentation (receipts) of expenditures to the Iowa DOT for reimbursement eligibility and to confirm amount expended. Examples of relevant receipts include wage and benefit summaries for employees, store, tool and safety supply, food, lodging, transportation costs, as well as anything else relevant to the UYC Program in which the agency wishes to be considered for reimbursement.
    * The Iowa DOT requires that cancelled checks need to be submitted with the receipts to show verification on the payment.
  • When recruiting participants, sponsors must make a good faith effort to ensure that all eligible persons have equal opportunity to apply for positions available.
  • Participants must be paid at least the prevailing minimum wage per hour for a maximum of 40 hours per week.
  • Participants must be provided a minimum of five hours per week training and education in job search techniques, resume writing, life skills, work ethic, etc. These five hours are part of the 40-hour weekly maximum.
  • Contracting agencies assume responsibility for any tort claim related to their project and must maintain workers’ compensation and liability insurance covering their operations.
  • Participants are not eligible for unemployment compensation benefits.
  • All contracts for the operation of an UYC project are on a reimbursement basis.
  • Participants who are no longer enrolled in school and have not graduated from high school should be strongly encouraged to enroll in and attend GED classes.
  • Applicants must provide participants with appropriate supportive services designed to facilitate their entry into the workforce. Such services may include, but not be limited to, individual counseling, diagnostic services, job search techniques and job retention skills.

Mahaska Urban youth Corp program activity

Allowable costs

  • Participant wages must be at or above the minimum wage level for an average of 40 hours per week. A minimum of 55 percent of the project budget must be allocated to participant wages and fringe benefits.
  • Participant fringe benefits include FICA, workers’ compensation insurance and liability insurance.
  • Youth staff pay and fringe benefits include FICA, workers’ compensation insurance, IPERS, health and life insurance, and other benefits as provided by the contracting agency. (Full-time sponsor staff not allowed).
  • Work-related travel.
  • Equipment items necessary for the completion of work projects.
  • Supplies, including safety equipment.
  • Educational costs.
  • Other direct costs, including fiscal administration and other costs deemed necessary for the efficient operation of the program.

Program reporting

Contracting agencies may submit monthly financial reports, but must submit a final financial and performance report. The report forms can be found under the forms section on this Web page.
Grant Application - Urban Youth Corps - Microsoft Word.doc

Urban Youth Corps Reimbursement - Microsoft Word.doc

Urban Youth Corps Final Report - Microsoft Word.doc