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Oneida County FreshStart program finishes first year with 12 graduates

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

A dozen unemployed young adults have graduated from the first year of Oneida County’s FreshStart work training program, the county announced. (PHOTO CREDIT: ONEIDA COUNTY)

UTICA — Oneida County says 12 unemployed young adults have graduated from its FreshStart work-training program after its first year.

The FreshStart program is a partnership between the Oneida County Office of Workforce Development and the Utica Municipal Housing Authority (MHA) that targets young adults who are jobless and not currently enrolled in high school or college.

The inaugural class consisted of a dozen 18-to-24 year-olds from Utica. They worked at MHA sites performing maintenance, painting and other labor, “as they developed work-readiness and teamwork skills,” Oneida County said. The group worked 400 hours each over a span of about three months, each making $11.10 per hour.

“The young adults in this program gained skills they can use for future employment, as well as a new-found confidence in their abilities, a stronger foundation to tackle their futures and work experience that will show employers they can be an integral part of a successful work team,” Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said in a news release. “This program is a clear example of how an effective collaborative partnership can have a positive impact on people’s lives.” 

Oneida County Workforce Development is currently assisting the graduates in finding full-time employment and/or in receiving their test assessing secondary completion (TASC), a high-school equivalency exam.