Summer Jobs Help Teens Gain Skills and Experience in the Workforce
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $30 million in funding for the Summer Youth Employment program which supports communities across the state in creating summer jobs for youth from low-income families. With this funding, approximately 18,000 young New Yorkers will gain new skills this summer, resulting in improved academic performance and increasing future job prospects.
“Landing that first summer job has a positive effect on young people that spans well into adulthood," Governor Cuomo said. "By funding these positions we are giving businesses the summer help they need, as well as creating the opportunity for youth to both earn a paycheck and learn valuable skills that will last a lifetime. I encourage those interested to contact their local social services office and find out what opportunities are available."
To be eligible, young people must be ages 14 to 20 and have a family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (or $39,850 for a family of three). Employers can use the funds to subsidize wages, support education and training activities, as well as offer counseling and employment-related services, such as transportation to and from work. Young people interested in participating can contact their local department of social services. (View contact information here.)
An additional $20 million annually is available to businesses in tax credits through the Urban Youth Jobs Program. The program, formerly called New York Youth Works, encourages businesses to hire unemployed, disadvantaged young people who are age 16 to 24, and who live in Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, Schenectady, Syracuse, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Utica, White Plains, Yonkers and the towns of Brookhaven and Hempstead. Since 2012, the program has connected more than 18,000 at-risk young people to jobs with more than 2,000 New York businesses across the 13 target areas in New York State. The $20 million is available annually through 2018. For more information, visit: www.labor.ny.gov/youthjobs.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Executive Deputy Commissioner Sharon Devine said, “As someone who obtained her first summer job through this program as a teenager, much of what I took away from that experience has stayed with me throughout my career. The program helped me gain knowledge and confidence to pursue my career path, as it is certain to help young New Yorkers this summer.”
Cindy Kaptan, a program participant who lives in Delaware County, said, “I worked with the Village of Sidney for two years through the Summer Youth Employment Program and now work as a full-time employee for them. Working for the Village has introduced me to a new professional path, taught me new skills, and overall helped me grow as a person. I really enjoy working for the Village because it allows me to make a difference in the community.”
Kathy Watson, human resources director for Timeless Frames & Décor in Watertown, which has employed young people through the program the past four summers, said, “Youth have an opportunity to experience working in a manufacturing environment and, if successful, will be considered for future, full-time employment. It gives us an opportunity to provide work experience to youths in the area and potentially strengthen our pool of candidates for future openings. The program is well run and worthwhile to both employers and young people in Jefferson County.”
Thomas Zanghi, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds for Cassadaga Valley Central Schools in Chautauqua County, said, “This program has enabled Cassadaga Valley Central Schools to hire our own students, give them some valuable life/work skills and give these students an opportunity to interact with the maintenance crew one-on-one in a way they never would. Our students have come away with great respect for the staff and what is involved behind the scenes of the day-to-day operations of a school district.”
Steve Pierce, Executive Director of Media Alliance Inc., in Troy, said, “Media Alliance has been a job site for the Rensselaer County Summer Youth Employment Program for several years -- it's been great and just keeps getting better. We have enjoyed getting to know some of the best and brightest young people living in Troy, and have found them a pleasure to work with. They are highly motivated to begin with, but the Summer Youth Employment Program staff goes the extra mile to make sure everyone gets what they want and need from this experience.”
Congresswoman Nita Lowey said, “I’m pleased Governor Cuomo will direct more than $1.1 million in federal funds to Westchester and Rockland youth so thousands of young people can learn job skills and advance their career development. As Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to work with state and local officials to develop and support our workforce.”
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries said, "Each summer, thousands of kids across Brooklyn and New York City work summer jobs to earn extra money for their families and save for college. These jobs help teenagers develop a work ethic that will serve them throughout their lives. Governor Cuomo and all involved should be commended for their diligent work in helping our youth take a crucial first step toward building a successful career."
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said, “It is critical that our children learn the value of hard work at an early age. This funding will provide important assistance to help low income children gain valuable employment across the North Country and I commend Governor Cuomo for making this a priority.”
Below is a list of 2015 funding amounts by county:
Summer Youth Employment Program 2015
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