Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced increased funding from the 2014-2015 State Budget for the highly successful New York Youth Works Program. Funding has been expanded to $10 million for each of the program's four years and will help young people find job-readiness training, get into the workplace, and succeed in their jobs. In 2012, the program incentivized 1,270 New York businesses to hire 12,866 at-risk young people across New York.
"We are continuing to open doors for young New Yorkers by helping them enter the workforce early, Governor Cuomo said. New York Youth Works has already given thousands of young adults in our state a step up and starting this year we plan to help even more. The budget we passed extends and expands financial support for this program providing greater opportunity to young New Yorkers.
As in 2012, businesses will be offered a wage subsidy of up to $3,000 in the form of tax credits to immediately put to work young people from at-risk communities. The business must retain the worker for at least 6 months and is eligible for an additional tax credit of up to $1,000 for the following 6 months if the young worker is retained. The program will continue through December 31, 2018, and funding has been increased from the original allocation of $6 million for each year of the program.
To qualify, youth age 16 to 24 must be considered at-risk and reside in one of 13 areas: New York City, Hempstead, Brookhaven, Utica, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Schenectady, New Rochelle, Mt. Vernon, White Plains, or Yonkers.
Labor Commissioner Peter M. Rivera said, I commend our agency staff members who did extensive outreach to local youth organizations, training providers and businesses to market the program in 2012. We expect further success in the months and years ahead and continue to sign up businesses and youth.
Human Resources Manager at Delta Sonic Serena Lubacz said, "The youth are the greatest opportunity you have to develop your staff. This kind of program is what we are looking for to grow our company."
Director of Strategic Workforce Development for Wegmans Joe Wesley said, Wegmans is pleased the Governor continues to support the Youth Works program. There is a clear need for qualified trained workforce. Focusing on youth and providing the skills needed while youth are in high school is a smart state investment. It enables at-risk youth to obtain skills needed for the workforce that also help them academically while at the same time providing opportunities that will build into life-long careers.
Joliesha Gause, a New York Youth Works participant, said, "Wegmans helped build me and now I'm excelling. The managers are there to support you."
Businesses interested in participating in the NY Youth Works program should visit http://www.jobs.ny.gov/youthworks. Youth interested in participating in the program can visit their local New York State Career Center, a listing of which can be found at http://labor.ny.gov/career-center-locator, or call the New York State Department of Labor at (877) 226-5724.