Jobs for Youth to Curb Local Gun Violence

HUDSON VALLEY -Following Thursday’s gun violence prevention community meeting for the upper Hudson Valley area, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced 492 jobs will be available for at-risk youth in five ZIP codes that make up the zone. The ZIP codes are: 12601 and 12603 in Poughkeepsie; 12401 in Kingston; 12550 in Newburgh; and 10940 in Middletown.

The State will provide funding to create 177 summer jobs for youth aged 15 to 24 in this zone to keep them employed until the start of school this year. The State will also partner with the local workforce development boards and community partners to provide job training, credentialing and career placement services to ultimately connect 315 at-risk youth to good-paying, permanent jobs. Unemployed, underemployed and out-of-school youth age 18-24 in areas of Poughkeepsie, Kingston, Newburgh and Middletown that are impacted by gun violence will be eligible.

“We have a duty to protect our children and other New Yorkers who are vulnerable to gun violence, and this meeting in Middletown helped us agree on the right solutions for cities across the Hudson Valley that have been affected by this crisis,” Governor Cuomo said. “By connecting with the local leaders who know their communities, we are able to determine the needs of every locality and allocate our resources accordingly – so we can be most effective in making communities across our state whole again.”

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo kicked off a series of community meetings that will be held in emerging gun violence hot spots across the state, where State officials and community leaders can carve out initiatives to address the ongoing gun violence. The initiatives focus on engaging the most at-risk youth in cluster zones in employment and community activities, hiring new community-based gun violence interrupters, as well as assistance for mental health and substance use disorders.

Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 211 declaring gun violence a disaster emergency and requiring New York State’s Division of Criminal Justice Services to compile incident-level data provided by major police departments on a weekly basis so that it may be used by the newly established Office of Gun Violence Prevention to track emerging gun violence hot spots and deploy resources to areas most in need.

In the meeting for the upper Hudson Valley area, specific steps to combat gun violence included:

* Creating 177 summer jobs for youth and 315 long-term jobs placed in partnership with the local workforce development boards;

* Establishing summer programs for youth, including more than 45 activities at Minnewaska, Fort Montgomery, and other state parks across the upper Hudson Valley this summer;

* Hiring new violence interveners to work at existing community intervention programs; and

* Expanding community services and assistance for mental health support, substance abuse treatment and family crisis intervention.

On July 6, Governor Cuomo declared the first-in-the-nation gun violence disaster emergency as part of a new, comprehensive strategy to build a safer New York. This new strategy treats gun violence as a public health crisis, using short-term solutions to manage the immediate gun violence crisis and reduce the shooting rate, as well as long-term solutions that focus on community-based intervention and prevention strategies to break the cycle of violence. The disaster emergency allows the State to expedite money and resources to communities so they can begin targeting gun violence immediately.

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