Oswego County News Release
Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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March 23, 2007

Hard Work and Studying Pay Off for Youth Works Participants

Bolen, Allen, Clark and Friot participate in Youth Works.

YOUTH IN THE WORKFORCE - Oswego County's Youth Works program can help students attain their educational goals and gain work experience. Participants include, from left, Katelyn Bolen, a student at Oswego State University; John Allen, Cayuga Community College; Grayson Clark, Oswego State University; and Josh Friot, Cayuga Community College. Youth Works is sponsored by the Oswego County Career Connection Center in Fulton.

Local teens who need some extra help finishing high school or gaining work experience may qualify for assistance through the Youth Works program at Oswego County Workforce New York in the county Branch Office Building on state Route 481, Fulton.

Eligible 16- to 21-year-olds can receive tutoring and support services to help them graduate from high school, obtain a job, and continue on to college. To be eligible, the youth must meet federal income guidelines and other criteria.

“The program is designed to help qualified youth develop education and employment goals and improve their skill levels. It provides links to the labor market that are effective in helping young people obtain and be successful in their jobs,” said Janet Lanious, Youth Works employment specialist for the county Division of Employment and Training, Department of Social Services. “Youth Works partners with many local agencies that provide support services, mentoring, occupational skills training, and other opportunities. An individual plan is developed for each participant, that takes into account his or her academic skills, occupational skills and individual needs.”

The program has had a major impact on the lives of many young people.

Josh Friot has been involved in the program for four years, participating in the Summer Employment Program, on the Conservation Corps crew, and on the Oswego River Canal in Fulton. He's availed himself of the tutoring assistance available through Youth Works and a partner agency, the Youth Advocacy Program. Josh earned his GED last June and will attend Cayuga Community College as a business administration major.

“I think Youth Works is a great opportunity. There is a lot of help available for everything, they help with just about everything in your life,” he said.

Another Youth Works participant, Oswego State student Grayson Clark, says the program has helped immensely with paying for text books and in other ways.

“I have been enrolled in Youth Works for five years,” said Clark. “I worked four years at the Fulton CYO, and last summer and during my winter break at the Youth Works office. Youth Works is a really great program that can offer help in many different ways, from assistance in finding a job to helping to pay for college. Signing up for the Youth Works program was one of the best things I ever did. This program has helped me tremendously over the years.”

John Allen, who has been involved in Youth Works for eight years, worked as an umpire for the Fulton Little League and helped in maintaining the baseball field. A graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School, he's now a student at Cayuga Community College and plans to become an English teacher.

“Youth Works has been a great experience for me,” he said.

Katelyn Bolen has been involved in Youth Works for three years. Employed as a part-time desk attendant at the Workforce New York office in Fulton, Katelyn is studying creative writing at SUNY Oswego. “Having a stable job that I can return to while on break from attending school has been helpful to my financial independence,” she said. “The program flexes with my school schedule and everyone involved has been extremely accommodating. I look forward to working.”

Youth Works accepts applications throughout the year. For information, stop by Oswego County Workforce New York at the County Branch Office Building on state Route 481, Fulton, or call 591-9000. The center is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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