41 local youth part of summer job program through county

Photo by Tom Rivers: Some of the young people in this summer’s youth employment program include, front row, from left: Raquel Russell, Sh’kwe Riley, Makyell Walker and Raekwon Riley. Back row: Peter Anderson, senior employment specialist with the Orleans County Job Development Agency; Jayla Brady, Zoey Weese, Lavell Johnson, Shawn McAllister, Ianah Drisdom, Avion Johnson and Kwame Riley.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 August 2022 at 11:33 am

ALBION – The Orleans County Job Development Agency on Friday celebrated the completion of a summer youth program where 41 people, ages 14 to 20, worked in the community for 25 hours a week over five weeks. They were paid $14 an hour, 80 cents above the minimum.

The program was up from 32 youths in the program last summer and 21 in 2020. The youths earn money, gain work experience and learn financial literacy.

The Summer Youth Employment Program is funded through the state Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The youths work retail with customer service, as well as clerical and office jobs, and outside work, including landscaping. They helped run summer recreational camps and programs.

The youths worked at the following job sites: Albion Parks, Community Action, Community Free Library in Holley, Creekside Floral in Medina, Daniel’s Men’s Apparel in Medina, Fringe in Medina, Hoag Library in Albion, Holley Community Center in Holley, Hust’l Athletics in Medina, Medina Central School District in the IT Department, Orleans County Fairgrounds/Cooperative Extension, Orleans County Job Development/Dept of Social Services, Orleans County YMCA in Medina, PAWS in Albion, P.Raising Kids in Medina, and Stanley G. Falk School in Buffalo.

Jabari Johnson, 18, of Albion has been in the program the past three summers. He said it has taught him the value of earning his own money, and the importance of being on time and keeping a good attitude. He has worked in the Village of Albion’s summer parks program.

He recently took a job at Orchard Manor in Medina in the kitchen. He wants to learn to become an auto mechanic.

“This program has taught me all about savings, about discipline and about being on time,” he said.

Johnson also said the participants learn you can’t just sit back and wait for something to happen. You need to put yourself in a position to succeed.