Over 150 young people from throughout Dutchess County attended yesterdays Department of Community & Family Services’ (DCFS) Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) Youth Summit, coordinated by the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and held at the former JCPenney site at the Poughkeepsie Galleria.
The SYEP provides qualified students, ages 14 to 20 and whose families qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a 6-8 week-long course, which included summer job placement, designed to help them prepare for future, permanent employment.
County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Dutchess County believes in its young people, and we continue to invest in the Youth Summer Employment Program because we’ve seen the benefits year after year: local youth gaining the skills and experience needed to become successful adults. The young men and women who have completed this year’s program and attended today’s summit will take with them the lessons they’ve learned this summer, and we, as a county, look forward to following their success for years to come.”
Students who took part in the SYEP received job placements accompanied by mentorship – ranging in industry, skill level, and geographic location – and worked an average of 20 hours per week at various businesses throughout Dutchess County, including R.E.A.L. Skills Network, The Art Effect, Nubian Directions II, Boys and Girls Club, Red Hook Community Center, North East Community Center, Smart Staffing, Green Teen, Poughkeepsie Farm Project, BOCES and Hudson River Housing. Training coincided with the students’ employment throughout the course of July and August, giving them the chance to learn skills, go back and apply those skills on the job, and then gather again to discuss which were successful.
Training topics included:
- verbal and non-verbal communication;
- stress management;
- fundamental fiscal management concepts; and
- goal setting and employment strategies.
WIB Executive Director Louise McLoughlin said, “The Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board is proud to again collaborate with the Department of Community & Family Services to present this important program. Today’s students will take with them the critical lifelong skills they’ve learned this summer and apply them as they pursue a career, and we’re happy to play a role in their future achievements.”
Among the day’s presentations were education about financial literacy and entrepreneurial training; a job fair; and a workshop about the “Path to Promise,” the County’s comprehensive effort to ensure all young people in the county have the assets they need to achieve their full potential as they grow into young adults. Additionally, Sen. Sue Serino her personal experience with the students.
The Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board received $526,168 for the 2022 Summer Youth Employment Program from the federally funded TANF program. The Summer Youth Employment Program’s goal is for the young participants to enjoy a positive work experience while giving them an opportunity to be productive, explore career options and earn a certificate that confirms their readiness for entry-level work, as defined by employers across the country.
Among the six “Path to Promise” domains are social relationships and learning, which correspond with several of the topic areas and skills covered in the Summer Youth Employment Program.