August 28, 2019

Picente Lauds Successful FreshStart Program

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First-Year Work Training Initiative Gives 12 Young Adults Valuable Experience

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. today praised the success of the county’s first-year FreshStart work training program that recently graduated 12 unemployed young adults.

The FreshStart program is a partnership between the Oneida County Office of Workforce Development and the Utica Municipal Housing Authority that targets young adults who are unemployed and not currently enrolled in high school or college.

The inaugural class consisted of a dozen 18-24 year-olds from Utica who worked at MHA sites performing maintenance, painting and other labor, as they developed work-readiness and teamwork skills. The group worked 400 hours each over a span of about three months, making $11.10 per hour.

“The young adults in this program gained skills they can use for future employment, as well as a new-found confidence in their abilities, a stronger foundation to tackle their futures and work experience that will show employers they can be an integral part of a successful work team,” Picente said. “I congratulate them on their completion of this program, and thank our Workforce Development staff and the MHA for providing them with the tools be successful. This program is a clear example of how an effective collaborative partnership can have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Oneida County Workforce Development is currently assisting the graduates in finding full-time employment and/or in receiving their Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC).

For more information on FreshStart and other Out of School Youth programs, contact the Oneida County Workforce Development Office at 315-798-5908 or visit

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