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Funding Teen Jobs

Area to get about $156K from state for program

May 20, 2012
By MIKE ZUMMO , The Leader Herald

About $156,000 in state funds will be streaming into the area in an effort to help needy teens find jobs this summer.

It is part of $25 million the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is sending to all 62 counties. The funding is 61 percent larger than last year's allocation.

Fulton County is expected to receive $80,650, Montgomery County will receive $68,962, while Hamilton County will receive $6,310.

Article Photos

Mackenzie Allen of Gloversville gets her face painted by worker Stella Martinez during the Gloversville Boys & Girls Club carnival at the Dubois Garden Apartments in Gloversville on Aug. 12.

The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan

Fulton County Department of Social Services Commissioner Sheryda Cooper said the funds are sent to Fulton-Montgomery-Schoharie Workforce Solutions.

"It's used to introduce youths to the workforce," Cooper said.

Denise Coco, director of the Gloversville Boys & Girls Club, said she employed about 10 teens through the program last year. They worked as counselors during the organization's summer recreational program.

"I had about 10 teens here, and it worked out perfect," Coco said. "They were full of energy and they worked well with the kids. I'm hoping to get a couple of them back for the summer."

She said the teen workers did a lot of outdoor activities with the kids and helped with the club's summer carnival at Dubois Gardens apartment complex last August.

Gail Breen, executive director of Workforce Solutions, said her agency is "delighted" to work on that project, and that youths already have been calling to participate in the program.

According to a news release, eligible youths must be between the ages of 14 and 20. Participating families must be the recipients of public assistance, or have a family income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level - $37,060 for a family of three.

The money is used to subsidize the wages paid to the youth, and pay for education and training activities, counseling and employment-related services, such as transportation to and from work.

"By connecting young New Yorkers with good summer jobs, we are providing them with valuable experience and skills to help prepare them for future employment," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in the news release. The N.Y. Youth Works Summer Employment Program will help address the chronically high unemployment rate among underserved, young New Yorkers. By helping our young people gain the tools needed to succeed in the workplace, we will set them on a path to future success, while helping create new jobs across New York state."

Breen said she has been involved with the program under its various incarnations for about 20 years.

"We have a large variety of young people who want to not only earn money, but also to hone their skills and learn new skills," Breen said.

Breen said in past years, the agency was only able to use the funds to employ youths in the public sector, but she said in recent years, the field also has been opened to the private sector.

"It's always been a very popular program for young people," Breen said. "For low-income youth, this might be their only opportunity to make money that's truly theirs."

Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at



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