Funding to Help More Than 18,000 Teens Compete in the Workforce
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that more than 18,000 young people from low-income households will gain valuable work experience, and a much-needed paycheck, through New York State’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The program connects participants to jobs and helps them acquire skills they can use in school and beyond.
“Helping young New Yorkers find good summer jobs will expand their opportunities and allow them to gain valuable work experience as they prepare for future employment,” Governor Cuomo said. “By building a skilled work force, we are strengthening New York’s economy today, while giving young New Yorkers across the state a chance at a brighter future.”
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is distributing $27.5 million across the state to fund the 2014 Summer Youth Employment Program. Young people in the program will work in places such as school districts, parks, nursing homes, summer camps, child care organizations, senior citizens centers and community recreation centers.
OTDA Commissioner Kristin M. Proud said, “The Summer Youth Employment Program exposes young people from low-income households to careers in a range of different fields. This experience will help them gain knowledge, skills and confidence as they contemplate their own career paths.”
Businesses currently participating in the Summer Youth Employment Programs ay it benefits both the students and employers, adding that some teens are hired in full-time positions after their program is complete.
Executive Director of the Five Towns Community Center in Nassau County Bertha Pruitt said, “Young people really need that opportunity for the summer to make some money for school clothing and some spending money. Sometimes we rehire the kids, even as adults. We know their work and we know their history and have been able to evaluate them.”
Courtney Mrowczynski, Human Resources Coordinator at The Friendly Home in Rochester, which provides care for older adults, said, “We have seen the youths grow and develop valuable work skills such as time management, teamwork and relationship building. We have had youths provide companionship to our residents, participate in recreational activities, and work behind the scenes in areas such as dining services, laundry and grounds keeping. We are pleased to help in their professional development by providing mentoring and real-life work experience. In fact, we have actually hired two of the program youths as part-time Friendly Home employees.”
To be eligible for the program, participants must be between the ages 14 and 20, and their total family income must be below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, the income for a family of three must be below $39,060 a year. Onondaga County has been allocated $691,262 for this effort.
Those who are eligible and interested in participating should contact their local department of social services. Onondaga County DSS, John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 12th floor, 421 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, New York 13202, 315-435-2985