Picente: Work Readiness Day at MVCC Kicks Off Summer Youth Employment Program

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. today joined 300 Oneida County teens as the Oneida County Summer Youth Employment Program held its annual Work Readiness Day at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica. 

“This summer opens the door for you to learn what work is all about, to learn some lessons about what employers will want, to learn what types of skills you will need to achieve success, and to use this summer as a first step on the ladder of success,” Picente told the youth, who over the next six weeks will participate in a number of community service projects at local work sites.

The event was highlighted by featured speaker Morris Pearson, Director of Justice at Mohawk Valley Community College and a former Executive Director of Utica’s Cosmopolitan Center, who told youth that attitude was the key to achievement. “This is your opportunity to feel that pride in getting a paycheck, and to learn how to get along on the job, to get along with different kinds of people, and how to take the skills you have and the skills other people have and work together as a team.”
MVCC President Randall Van Wagoner said, “MVCC hosts this program because it sends an important message – that the youth need the skills they learn at work, but they also need the deeper foundation of the education they get in high school and in college. Success – like the summer program – is a mix of learning new skills and learning new ideas.”
MVCC will provide youth with information about careers, financial aid, campus tours and work readiness preparation. “MVCC has been preparing the workforce of our region for more than 60 years,” said Picente. “Work Readiness Day expands this long-time partnership to help our young people look at MVCC as a stepping-stone to the future.”
Areas of focus included:
Life Skills Topics

Career Exploration: Look at what you like and what you are good at and see if you can find a career path that you can strive for in your future.
Team Building: Working together with people can be challenging.  So let’s take a look at how we can form a great team with many personalities and differences.
Time Management:  Managing time begins with setting goals.  Learn to set a SMART goal and make time to reach that goal.
Conflict Resolution: We don’t always like everyone we meet but we can learn to get along.  Learn how to solve problems on the job and in life with people you may consider your co-workers, not necessarily your friends.
Resume Writing: Learn to use your life experience, volunteer work and paid employment to build a resume that can help you improve and enhance your employment.
Career Topics:

Renewable Energy: What is the new hot topic for careers and what is renewable energy? Get some answers to these questions and many more.
Hospitality Careers: Learn about careers in the hospitality field, required training/education and what makes one successful in the field.
Tech and Trades: Whether you get a degree or a certificate learn about the tech and trades fields and how you can be successful in a variety of careers.
“Oneida County’s Summer Youth Employment Program represents the first job for many of the youth we serve,” said David Mathis, Director of Oneida County Workforce Development. “We want these youth to use this summer as a time to look ahead at their future, and also earn wages that will be spent here in our local economy.”
“The young people of Oneida County are a tremendous resource,” said Picente. “Every summer, our Office of Workforce Development helps our youth learn about the world of work, about the teamwork and preparation needed for careers, and about the expectations employers have. Summer programs help our young people continue their education with a focus on their future as well as academics. I’m proud of these programs and the great experience they give our youth.”

(The  photo shows MVCC’s Morris Pearson speaking to the program’s youth at the opening ceremony).