Picente: Oneida County Recovery Act Programs Rebuilding Communities, Helping Youth Find Work


Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. today announced that Oneida County Workforce Development is beginning its outreach campaign for Recovery Act-funded programs that will help young adults learn skills while also serving the community. 

“The purpose of the Recovery Act was to energize our economy through aggressive steps to rebuild the community and help young people who need skills learn vital skills as they earn wages,” Picente said. “Working with some of our community’s outstanding partners, we are able to begin implementing programs next month, so that unemployed young adults who need work can find jobs and also learn skills that will lead them to work as more and more Recovery Act funding comes into our communities for vital projects.”

U.S. Rep. Michael A. Arcuri (NY-24) said, "With unemployment in Oneida County at 8.5%, we must do everything in our power to get the economy moving again, create jobs, and make sure that our workers are trained and ready to go.  I'm pleased to join with County Executive Picente to announce these new worker training programs that will help train local residents for new jobs.  This is yet another example of how the Recovery Bill is delivering results to Oneida County."
Picente said Oneida County’s Recovery Act Programs, which will run from early May through late September, are designed to connect income-eligible young adults aged 19-24 with emerging green collar jobs that require hands-on capabilities as well as important workplace skills such as teamwork.
Oneida County’s initial program offerings include:
Construction Skills (Utica): In partnership with Mohawk Valley Community College, participants will begin renovations that will lead to the creation of an Internet Café in the Veterans Outreach Center in downtown Utica.
Construction Skills (Rome): MVCC is working with the City of Rome to begin construction of the REACH Microenterprise Center in downtown Rome.
Environmental Skills Training: MVCC has developed a training program that will lead to certifications employers need in green collar jobs and environmental technician jobs. Oneida County’s Health Department, a leader in providing lead safe workplace training, will assist all three MVCC projects by providing this training to program participants, providing a skill and a certification that can lead to employment.
Utica Green Corps: The Utica Municipal Housing Authority will help young adults learn landscaping skills through work at HOPE VI project homes as well as interior construction skills in the rehabilitation of apartments at several MHA units.
Sherrill Community Corps: The City ofSherrill will operate a 10-week project for about 25 young adults aged 19-24 to focus on three community priorities: Cleanup of an eyesore wooded area along Route 5 in the city; Painting of several city-owned buildings in need of upkeep; Assistance in the cleanup of a gas station that is now in the city’s hands.
Enrollment is being offered on line at: http://ocgov.net/recovery-act-form

Pre-applications are also available at Working Solutions Utica, State Office Building, Utica; Working Solutions Rome, 153 Brooks Road, Rome; and Oneida County Workforce Development, 209 Elizabeth St., Utica.
Federal Recovery Act funding requires that all participants meet income guidelines.
Picente noted that among the target populations are those young adults under the supervision of Oneida County’s Probation Department. “Many young people make a mistake; our Probation Department works hard to help them overcome those early mistakes,” Picente said. “The partnership that exists between Probation and Workforce Development will help these young people, many of whom have never worked, learn skills so that their future can be productive and positive.”
David Mathis, Director of the Office of Workforce Development, said that Recovery Act funding allows Oneida County to offer programs that extend for more weeks than the Summer Youth Employment Program, and also combine both basic skills instruction with work experience. “In a difficult economy, the ones who suffer the most are young people with the least experience,” Mathis said. “The programs that we are able to launch in May, as well as others that will operate only during the summer months, are designed to help young people graduate from these programs far more employable than they are today, and also to work with the community so that there is a benefit to everyone from these efforts.”
Mathis noted that Recovery Act funding also exists to help unemployed adults learn new skills or help employed workers upgrade their skills to attain better-paying jobs. He said that information about training through Recovery Act-funded programs is available at the Utica and Rome Working Solutions offices.
Mathis said that Oneida County Workforce Development will be working with local agencies and communities to expand the Recovery Act projects for young adults in the 19-24 age range. “We will be looking for work sites and programs that can provide opportunities for young adults to learn skills they need to get ahead,” Mathis said, noting that groups interested in being part of the Recovery Act projects should contact the Office of Workforce Development at (315) 798-5908.