Immediate Release

Thursday, July 5, 2007 

For Information Contact

David Mathis

Picente Kicks Off Oneida County
Summer Youth Employment Program


Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr., joined by New York State Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito and local officials representing public and private sector groups, kicked off the Oneida County Summer Youth Employment Program by urging Oneida County participants to make the most of their summer of opportunity.

“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 SYEP participants at a kick-off event held at Mohawk Valley Community College.

Destito, who has championed the funding set aside annually by state government to support the Program, said Oneida County’s blend of projects that offer both work and academics show the value of the funding. “The money we appropriate for our young people gives them an alternative to the streets,” she said. “The collaboration we see through this project provides opportunity and academic support for the students in the program. I am a strong supporter of education and opportunity for our youth, and I am glad to see these programs offer academic enrichment and technology instruction to help our young people prepare for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Picente said the programs reflect the needs of the emerging workplace. “Employers tell us they want students who know how to fit into a diverse workplace, but they also want workers with top-quality skills,” Picente said. “The mix of earning and learning that Oneida County youth will do this summer is designed to prepare them for the future.”

  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. “Without the funding that New York State has appropriated for this project, and without the efforts of our community partners to provide work sites and programs that help our young people sharpen academic skills while learning workplace basics, these young people would be left behind. This is a great team effort on behalf of our youth, and I want to thank not only Assemblywoman Destito, but also Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Townsend for their support.”

Mathis said that the 2007 Oneida County Summer Youth Employment Program includes these programs:

Griffiss Career Exploration/Oneida County School & Business Alliance ( SABA )

            Career opportunities at Griffiss have expanded greatly during the past few years. This project will educate students about the businesses at the park. Student will tour six employers at Griffiss Park as well as two local colleges that offer programs that could result in employment at those employers. Students will participate in career exploration workforce readiness and computer skill development. 

King School Technology Center / Oneida County Workforce Development:

            The Technology Center at Martin Luther King School , which was developed by the Utica Municipal Housing Authority in cooperation with the Utica City School District , is a year-round center operated by Oneida County Workforce Development providing technology classes and access for Cornhill residents. In the summer, it is used by the Summer Youth Employment Program to teach youth technology basics as well as upgrade existing keyboarding or Microsoft office skills.

Preserving Our Past and Securing Our Future / Rome Historical Society:

            The Rome Historical society in partnership with other highly regarded not-for-profit and businesses in Rome provides a summer work and learning opportunity. The youth will learn skills necessary for employment in a professional setting and work projects at locations such as Fort Stanwix , Rome City Parks , Capital Theatre and the Rome Historical Society. Youth will learn about career options in public service and gain valuable lessons of community involvement. Youth will gain interpersonal and behavioral skills needed for the work places and improve their written and oral communications skills.

Career Options Program / Utica School District & MVCC: 

This program will allow students to reinforce the skills and other assets they develop during the school year. To gain work experience, students will be employed in various positions within the Utica City School District . The project is designed to enhance the basic educational skills of youth; encourage completion or enrollment in supplementary or alternative school programs; provide youth with exposure to the world of work; and enhance the citizenship skills of youth. The Resource Center for Independent Living will provide students with a series of employment skills and work maturity skills workshops.

Construction Trades / Oneida County School and Business Alliance ( SABA ):

 Students in the program will participate in project-based learning and worksite experience. Students will also receive pre-employment training and career development from the SABA Career Specialists at Proctor High School . Students will learn basic carpentry and construction skills;

Health Occupations / Oneida County School and Business Alliance ( SABA ):

Students will explore careers in the health industry, participate in occupational training and learn basic healthcare procedures. Students will participate in an on-the-job training/ work component at Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare. Students will be placed in jobs depending on career interest. The program will also help students develop pre- employment skills that will help them prepare them for future employment. The long-term goal of this project is to encourage targeted youth to graduate from high school, by showing them the link between skill attainment and job opportunities.

Civil Engineering / Oneida County School and Business Alliance ( SABA ):

            This project addresses the anticipated need for civil engineers and technicians in the Mohawk Valley . Students will participate in worksite experiences (on-the-job training) with the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT). One or two students will be placed at each worksite. Students will also receive pre-employment training and career development from SABA specialists.  Student will learn basic civil engineering skills pre-employment and other work-related skills; and participate in career development and develop a career plan.

In addition to the programs noted above, the 2007 Oneida County Summer Youth Employment Program, places youth at a variety of worksites designed to help youth gain valuable work experience and contribute to projects that assist community and civic groups in their work.

The 2007 list of worksites includes: Boonville / Oneida County Fair; Boys and Girls Club; Camden Central Schools; Cosmopolitan Center; Delta Lake State Park; Eden Park Nursing Home; Hope House; Human Technologies Corp.; JCTOD Outreach; Loretto Center; Neighborhood Center; New Hartford Public Library; RCIL; Rescue Mission of Utica; Rome YMCA; Salvation Army; Thea Bowman House; Utica MHA; Utica Safe Schools / Healthy Students; Utica Youth Bureau; Utica Zoo; VVS Central School; Waterville Central School; Westmoreland Central School.