Picente Kicks Off Oneida County Youth Employment Program

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr., today kicked off the Oneida County 2013 Summer Youth Employment Program with the program’s annual Work Readiness Day held at the Utica campus of Mohawk Valley Community College.

“To help young people make the most of this work experience, we are offering a day to help them prepare for work, careers, and focus on the future,” Picente said. “This summer opens the door for youth to learn what work is all about, to learn lessons about what employers want, to learn what types of skills youth will need to achieve success, and to use this summer as a first step.  Oneida County’s Summer Youth Employment Program is an outstanding example of a long-term partnership at the state, county and community levels investing in our youth and providing opportunities.”

Roughly 300 youth will participate in the Program, in which income-eligible teen-agers will work with local employers, including health care and not-for-profit employers, to learn work skills. For many youth, the SYEP represents their first work experience and their first paycheck. The SYEP is funded by the state through the TANF program.

Guests at the event included: Russell Oliver, Bureau Chief of the New York State Department of Labor Office of Workforce Opportunities; Marissa Falitico, Constituent Services Liaison for Assemblyman Brindisi; Alice Savino, Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Board of Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties;  Patrick Johnson, Campus-Community Civility Liaison, MVCC; Gary Harvey, Director, Youth Construction Initiative Program, Proctor High School;  and Hassan Washington, an MVCC student and former SYEP participant.

Work sites include:

Utica Municipal Housing Authority: Summer youth employment program participants will assist in community beautification, landscaping,  and community service projects.

Mid-Utica Neighborhood Preservation Corp.: Oneida County Youth will assist in cleaning the property, cleaning children’s play areas, painting, and power washing outdoor activity areas.

Utica Zoo: Youth will assist in gardening, landscaping, and general maintenance of the Zoo.

Rome Community: Youth will assist community agencies in providing summer programming as well as performing vital maintenance at recreation facilities.

Through a partnership with BOCES, the SYEP offers these programs:

Health Care Exploration: Youth participate in an on-the-job training/work component at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare. Students are placed in positions related to career interest.   

Emerging Technologies: SYEP participants will learn construction skills.

Computer-Information Technology: Youth will learn the many facets of IT and local careers.