Internet Café Project Teaches Young Adults Skills, Helps The Community

Oneida County Workforce Development has already begun instilling valuable lessons into its summer employees, through our Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). One of this year’s programs offered due to expanded funding through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is a construction project at the Veterans Outreach Center in Utica, in which a group of young adults aged 19-24 are converting a part of the long-closed building into an Internet Café.
It is easy to see a transformation not only in the building itself but also in the workers’ professional development. Over the past few years this building has gone from serving as a local YMCA to a fitness center and after much hard work will become an Internet Café. This café will be available to local veterans who do not have any other access to the Web. Staff of the Internet Café will be present in order to teach and assist veterans. There will also be a snack and juice bar at this location. 
Construction Skills Program Supervisors Dan Slifka and Christopher J. Eberley aim not only to complete the construction portion of this project within the next three weeks, but also to instill work ethic and professional development in their young employees. The specific skills and lessons which they are focused on improving upon include; punctuality, discipline, carpentry, demolition, tool work, and mutual respect in the workplace. It seems as though they have been quite successful in both the professional development and work ethic of their employees, and certainly in the construction of a beautiful environment to house the Internet Café.