Onondaga County Receives Increase for Summer Youth Employment Program Onondaga County Receives Increase for Summer Youth Employment Program

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — New York State’s Summer Youth Employment Program receives $55 million from Gov. Kathy Hochul’s latest investment from the Fiscal Year 2025 Budget. This is a $7.9 million increase from last year.

Those who are eligible for this program include students who are 14-20 years old that live in low-income households and may not be able to enter the workforce otherwise.

The Office of  Temporary and Disability Assistance is going to distribute over $1.3 million to Onondaga County. Rosemary Avila, the executive director of CNY Works, said this is going to change the process this summer.

“What we’re going to do is we’re going provide more kids in the program,” Avila said. “We’re going to be able to enroll more kids in the program, not necessarily expanding in length but in opportunities for kids.”

Last year, according to Avila, over 460 students were accepted into the program out of 1,000 applications. Instead, the new budget will allow for CNY Works to take 500 or more students.

The organization allows the youth to be in the workforce. They learn how to work under supervision, communicate, and address behavioral and transportation issues.

CNY Works is partnered with numerous work sites that youth may be placed at. Those may include the industries in the area in hospitality, health or child care, culinary or restaurant, to local colleges. Some workplaces are Franco’s Pizzeria and Deli, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse University, and more.

Antonietta Vigliotti, the manager of Franco’s Pizzeria and Deli, said kids learn not only valuable work skills, but life lessons too.

“Responsibility,” Vigliotti said.  “Accountability. Having to be somewhere at a certain time and commit. I think our youth today are missing that concept.”

Another spot students might find themselves working is Byblos Mediterranean Cuisine. Violette Khabbaz, the owner said she has chosen to participate in the past few years.

“I like to help young people,” Khabbaz said. “So train them, talk to them, make sure they are doing okay. Once they leave here they will find the jobs they want or go back to school.”

Similar to other employers, Khabbaz said that without this program, she wouldn’t have enough workers in the summertime. The program is a guaranteed six-week term, but employers have the option to extend it throughout the summer until September 30.

As a paid experience, student will be earn minimum wage to add their household income.

Related Articles