Immediate Release

 For Information Contact:

Friday, September 20, 2020

David Andrews
Community Services Coordinator

Eannace: "Ladder to the Future"
Outreach Helps Oneida County Youth

Oneida County Executive Ralph J. Eannace, Jr., is joined at a "Ladder to the Future" youth outreach session by the Rev. Johnny M. Wilson Jr. of St. Paulís Baptist Church and Lydia Dedner, Project Director of the Americorps and Green Team programs at the Cosmopolitan Center.

Citing the need for youth to know the wide range of training programs open for them, Oneida County Executive Ralph J. Eannace Jr. today praised two outreach efforts to help Oneida County young people sign up for programs that can help them improve academically and learn valuable work readiness skills.

"It is critical that the workforce of the future understand all the activities that exist for them to improve their career potential and also find part-time or summer jobs that will bring them valuable experience with the world of work," Eannace said. "By showing young people programs that offer stipends and wages as well as those that offer great experience, we hope they will take advantage of the opportunities that exist for them in Oneida County."

Outreach sessions were held on August 27th at the Working Solutions Rome Center and on August 29th at St. Paulís Baptist Church in Utica. About 35 youth attended the outreach sessions. Eannace noted that this outreach efforts were part of the "Ladder to the Future" Project funded through the U.S. Department of Labor in which Oneida County Workforce Development and St. Paulís are working in partnership to help young people learn about the Working Solutions System.

"We have a number of programs and opportunities for our young people who are in school and for those who are not in school now but want to re-connect with education," said Oneida County Workforce Development Director David Mathis. "We have programs targeted at youth who have been involved with the justice system, youth who need a little support as they move through high school and youth who want to explore careers and earn extra money."

The outreach sessions provided information about these programs, and also allowed youth to register with Oneida County Workforce Development so that they can learn more as new program opportunities arise.

"County Government formed its partnership with St. Paulís for this project so that the faith-based community can help bring all the resources of our Working Solutions One-Stop System within the reach of our people who need assistance," Eannace said. "Partnerships that move our community forward are the secret to continuing the progress we have achieved. We are proud to work with St. Paulís and our community partners on this valuable project that will help our young people today and lay the foundation for a stronger community."

"This is an exciting chance for St. Paulís to help our young people who want a better future and bring the churches into the mainstream where we can help solve the problems of our people," said the Rev. Johnny M. Wilson, Jr., pastor of St. Paulís.

Eannace noted that Oneida County high school students also have many options to explore careers through programs supported in part by the "Call Mohawk Valley Home" initiative.

"Every year, hundreds of students have the opportunity for job shadowing and career development through these programs," he said. "We are establishing a continuum of programs for youth, ranging from the character-building youth activities offered through our Oneida County Youth Bureau, to the career development efforts of "Call Mohawk Valley Home" and the work experience programs operated out of Workforce Development."

Oneida County youth with questions about programs are encouraged to visit Oneida Countyís two Working Solutions Centers:

Rome: Working Solutions, Rome, 252 W. Dominick St., 337-7300

Utica: Working Solutions, Utica, Second Floor, State Office Building, 207 Genesee St., 793-5304

"Some youth may be looking for career guidance that we can provide through our Working Solutions Centers," Mathis said. "We are in the process of working with the Oneida County School and Business Alliance (SABA) to help youth who need career information work with all of the youth services organizations in our area so that all youth know the resources we have in our Working Solutions Centers in Rome, Utica Herkimer and Oneida."