Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than 18,000 teens will have jobs this summer through New York State's Summer Youth Employment Program.
The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) has distributed $25 million in funding to all 57 counties and New York City to help bring youth into the workforce, acquire skills that can help them improve in school, and propel them to greater educational and career achievements.
"The Summer Youth Employment Program offers a great opportunity for employment to teenagers and young adults in underserved communities across New York State," said Governor Cuomo. "Introducing youth to their first job means they will gain valuable skills and experience that can help them achieve success in the future."
Youth ages 14 to 20, whose families are recipients of public assistance, or have a family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $38,180 for a family of three, are eligible.
The funding can be used to subsidize wages, to support education and training activities, counseling and employment-related services, such as transportation to and from work or training. Youth interested in participating can contact their local department of social services.
OTDA Acting Commissioner Kristin M. Proud said: "Jobs are crucial to help teach teens responsibility, good work habits, budgeting and how to cooperatively accomplish goals in a business setting. Governor Cuomo enthusiastically supports the Summer Youth Employment Program because every year it gives employment opportunities and skills to teens who seek a brighter future."
16 year old Onyx Wright, a student at Brewster High School has participated in the program the last two years. She described her experiences as, "Amazing! I have loved both summers. I have worked in a library and also for Head Start. I not only had fun, but it gives a student the push he or she needs to really get going and to learn people skills and responsibility."
Onyx' father Richard Wright said, "It gives the young people a healthy respect for what it is like to earn money and to be responsible for it."
Robbie Harris, a senior at Copenhagen High School who got a job last summer working on a landscaping crew in Lewis County, said: "The Summer Youth Employment Program helped me in a few different ways. It gave me money throughout the summer, it helped me make a few more friends, and it also gave me more experience working which I'll be able to use after high school."