The NY Youth Works program (an initiative led by Governor Cuomo) seeks to create opportunities for targeted groups in our society that face chronic unemployment. A result of this project is a collaboration between the City of New Rochelle, and the New Rochelle Municipal Housing Authority (NRMHA). This joint effort, along with the monies secured from Youth Works has located over a quarter of a million dollars in job training and job placement money.
In addition, through the efforts of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board, two separate grants totaling $138,000.00 each were awarded to the City of New Rochelle and to NRMHA individually. The grants are designed to serve similar populations but with different purposes.
The first part of this two grant process initiated by the NRHMA has not only begun, but it has started off with a bang with last week’s graduation ceremony for 14 young people that completed an arduous eight week construction training course. With an economy on a rebound, and investment dollars being injected into our community, NRMHA took a lead role to provide opportunities for careers in the construction trade. The NRMHA designated the National Builders Association to provide construction training to those participating in the project. Fourteen young people, aged 18-24, were provided with pre-apprenticeship construction training skills designed to get their careers kickstarted. Out of those 14, four were already placed in the Heritage Homes redevelopment project while more hires are expected to be made shortly both in that project, as well as other projects that exist in New Rochelle. A second construction training course is slated to begin in early 2013.
The New Rochelle Youth Bureau through the City of New Rochelle expects their grant to come online in early 2013 as well. This will ultimately complete the two pronged process of utilizing these NY Youth Work funds to bring economic development to New Rochelle. I suspect that their program will be equally creative and effective in creating a pipeline from training to actual jobs. Until then, we as a community must continue to work to create positive opportunities for all of our residents both one day, and one person at a time.