ALBANY – Assemblymembers Jonathan Jacobson (D-104), Didi Barrett (D-106), and Kevin Cahill (D-103) have secured the release of $1.6 million for the 2020 New York State Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) in the Hudson Valley.
After learning from organizations such as the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board, the Orange County Employment and Training Administration, and the Boys & Girls Club of Ulster County that the Division of Budget had not yet released the $45 million that were approved in this year’s State Budget, Assemblymembers Jacobson, Barrett, Cahill sent a letter to Governor Cuomo on June 23 urging him to release the funding immediately so that this summer would not be lost. The loss of funding for this program would have meant that hundreds of disadvantaged youth would have lost their opportunity to learn and work this summer.
“This program is critical since SYEP provides youth to be employed learning valuable work skills that will give them a head start on their future endeavors as well as earning a wage for the work completed,” said Jacobson. “For many, this is the only source of income they and their families may have. It is particularly crucial that we keep youth engaged this summer due to the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on the economy.”
“I’m pleased to see Governor Cuomo has heard our calls to fully fund the Summer Youth Employment Program,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett. “The local initiatives funded by this money have a track record of success and are crucial, now more than ever, to developing young people’s job skills and providing additional income.”
Sheila Appel, Chair of the Board of Directors at the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board, said, “I believe that early work experience provides our youth with the necessary traits that will enhance their future employment prospects and earning potential – this is especially true for disadvantaged youth. The ability for our young adults to have access to summer job programs provide them an opportunity to develop independence, responsibility and teach them interpersonal skills – all necessary for their long-term success!”
Dutchess County will receive $526,111; Orange County will receive $757,806; and Ulster County will receive $342,916. Governor Cuomo released the SYEP funding on July 2.