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Hudson Valley Expands Youth Jobs Program

County Executive Rob Astorino with the first training class of the newly expanded ‘Jobs Waiting’ program, now serving more job seekers and more industries, at the launch on May 1.
County Executive Rob Astorino with the first training class of the newly expanded ‘Jobs Waiting’ program, now serving more job seekers and more industries, at the launch on May 1. Photo Credit: Contributed

The Hudson Valley wants to make sure there are people able to fill high-wage and high-skilled jobs.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced the Jobs Waiting program has received a $4 million federal grant to help more unemployed people find work.

“Our young adults are our most valuable resource, and we want them to succeed right here in Westchester,” Astorino said. “Westchester County is known for its highly skilled and educated workforce, and we’re invested in keeping it that way."

The expanded program will serve 400 individuals in the Hudson Valley, the majority of which will include young adults with barriers to employment and training, including lack of transportation, low education attainment, childcare needs, and housing insecurity.

The program will also serve long-term unemployed or underemployed individuals and incumbent workers who need the training to advance in their careers.

Administered by the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board (WPWDB), the program will now serve the advanced manufacturing, biotech, and information technology sectors, and target 17 to 29-year-olds.

The expanded Jobs Waiting program will fast-track unemployed individuals, primarily low-skilled young adults with barriers to employment, into education and training to prepare for well-paying jobs, Donnovan Beckford, the WPWDB’s executive director said.

“Dramatic workforce changes call for upgrading the skills of today’s job seekers and workers to help them perform optimally in their jobs and advance in their careers,” said Beckford. “Jobs Waiting has been a success. Now we can expand on it and make it easier for employers to hire and train qualified candidates, as we can provide financial incentives – including paid work tryouts and funds for on-the-job training.”

Career Centers across the Hudson Valley region are beginning to recruit participants for the expanded program.

Those accepted into the program participate in a six-week career readiness “boot camp,”  which includes a skills assessment, career mapping, soft-skills, social media skills, interviewing techniques, and intensive, one-on-one career coaching.

After the boot camp, graduates move on to training at participating educational institutions or an occupational skills training program. The goal is to equip participants with the credentials and skills needed for an array of high-demand occupations.

For more information, visit www.jobswaiting.com

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