Oneida County Kicks Off 2019 Summer Youth Employment Program

Hundreds of Teens Participate in Work Readiness Day at MVCC

UTICA — Hundreds of teens participated in Work Readiness Day at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Utica Campus today to kick off the 2019 Summer Youth Employment Program.

This year, the county is placing approximately 460 youth aged 14-18 in paid summer jobs around the county including parks, community centers, child-care businesses and local agencies.

“This work experience prepares our county youth to reach out and seize a brighter future,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “They will accomplish great things for the community this summer, and in the process will learn professionalism, hands-on skills and problem-solving – all of which are essential for success.”

Last year, the summer youth worked on projects that included clearing brush by the Weeping Angel at the 9/11 Memorial on Memorial Parkway in Utica, planting community gardens to benefit low-income community members and building a stone walkway at the Midtown Utica Community Center.

Picente was joined Monday by Oneida County Workforce Development Director David Mathis, Assemblyman Brian Miller, Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon and Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol.

County representatives including STOP-DWI, Department of Mental Health, Youth Bureau, Office for the Aging and Continuing Care, Department of Health and the Sheriff’s Office were on hand during the event to prepare youth for their future as employees. Financial literacy training was provided by MVCC.

Tha Win of Utica, a counselor for the program and a student at Keuka College, told the youth workers that the diverse workforce they represent is critical to the region’s future.

“We are not the workforce of the past, we are the workforce of the future,” Win said. “When we go to work, it will not matter where we came from. It will matter where we want our lives to go, our community to go. The work we do this summer is our opportunity to build bridges with neighbors whose cultures we may not understand, to learn about ourselves as we tackle new opportunities that hide themselves as challenges, and to make this community – our community – a better place.”