Summer Youth Employment Program bridges work opportunities with community

NORWICH – As the capstone to a month-long program which taught youth about work and the workplace, teens in the Summer Youth Employment Program gave their final presentations from the fifth floor of the Eaton Center in Norwich on Friday.

The Summer Youth Employment Program is a collaboration between The Place in Norwich, the Chenango County Department of Social Services, and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance that provides young people from low-income households with valuable work experience and a paycheck. Kids ages 14-18 who are TANF eligible or 200 percent poverty level were eligible to take part in the program which put them to work with municipalities, non-profits, and human service organizations throughout the county.

The state provides finances for teens’ paychecks; and the work done – be it anything from painting at the Chenango County fairgrounds, building fences at Wolf Mountain Nature Center in Smyrna, or doing odd jobs for the Cornell Cooperative Extension – benefits the community. It’s a win-win, said Eileen Hoffman, the person contracted by The Place to facilitate the Summer Youth Employment Program.

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