Summer Youth Program "Earn While They Learn" Concludes

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today congratulated 130 local young people who successfully took part in the Dutchess County Family & Community Services Summer Youth Employment Program, coordinated by the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board (DCWIB).

Those 130 students from across Dutchess County, ages 14 to 20 and whose families qualify for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, engaged in learning activities that helped them become successful in their summer employment and prepare for future, permanent jobs.

“Our youth are the future of Dutchess County, and it’s important we give each the opportunity to excel in his or her future endeavors, leading to successful and productive lives. The Summer Youth Employment Program is a great step in reaching that goal,” County Executive Molinaro said. “These young men and women learned skills and traits they’ll take with them into the rest of their lives, and they’ll apply them in whatever career path they choose. I applaud each of them for having the fortitude to take part in this program, and I wish each of them well as they embark on the future. I’m confident they will make Dutchess County proud.”

A month-long course, the Summer Youth Employment Program is an innovative curriculum that allows student participants to “earn while they learn” with training sessions held at Dutchess Community College. Students received job placements ranging in industry and skill level as well as geographic location, working an average of 20 hours per week.

Training coincided with employment over the course of July, giving students the chance to learn skills, go back to work to apply those skills, and then gather again to discuss which were successful. Dutchess Community College’s campus hosted the student employees, offering them an invaluable chance to meet peers within the program who emanate from around the county and allowing them to experience the campus, firsthand. Training topics included:

  • Learning styles – how to identify and use it to make decisions and solve problems at work
  • Teamwork
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Stress management
  • Fundamental fiscal management concepts
  • Goal setting and employment strategies

Students learned from mentors representing various organizations from around Dutchess County, including Mill Street Loft, Dutchess ARC, North East Community Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension-Dutchess County, Nubian Directions, Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Spark Media Project, Hudson River Housing, REAL Skills Network, and Family Services.

“We are proud to partner with the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services to coordinate such an important program that impacts so many young people,” said Laraine Kautz, executive director of the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board. “With the training these students received during the program, we look forward to watching them become successful members of our community.”

The Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board received $367,264 for the 2015 Summer Youth Employment Program from the federally funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

The program’s aim 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 United States.