Social Capital Builders, a resident of the Maryland Innovation Center in Columbia, has received funding from Capital One to launch a new pilot program called Opportunity Connections in partnership with Youth Action YouthBuild of East Harlem, N.Y. A Black-owned social enterprise, SCB provides social capital education and training to a range of organizations across the U.S.

The 24-week program will empower Opportunity Youth from ages 18 to 26 who are disconnected from school and work opportunities with the social capital-building skills and tools to create well-supported career paths.

Geared to New York-based youth seeking careers in building maintenance and construction, the program will emphasize the value of social capital, connecting them with industry stakeholders and supportive adults who can provide career development support and labor market insights.

“Minority youth with poor social capital have lower labor force participation rates and fewer opportunities to discover their unique contribution to the world of work,” said Edward DeJesus, founder of SCB. “Without social capital connections, youth miss job prospects and other opportunities to increase their economic mobility.”

To date, SCB has equipped more than 1,200 job seekers and students with social capital literacy training.