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September 20, 2018

OCO Welcomes Youth Works Members


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</p>Oswego County Opportunities welcomed six members of the Oswego County Youth Works program as summer employees.  Pictured above from left are: Alissa Miller, Angelica Tickle, Tiffany Waite, Jessica Hunneyman, Juana Gonzalez, and Mike Moss.

Oswego County Opportunities welcomed six members of the Oswego County Youth Works program as summer employees. Pictured above from left are: Alissa Miller, Angelica Tickle, Tiffany Waite, Jessica Hunneyman, Juana Gonzalez, and Mike Moss.

When Oswego County Opportunities needed a little extra summer help they knew just where to turn, the Oswego County Youth Works Program.  Federally funded and operated locally by the Oswego County Department of Social Services, Employment and Training, Youth Works provides youth with a combination of work and education.  The program matches youth with employers based upon the their interests and skills and the employer’s needs.  The program is designed to provide participants with a mutually rewarding experience that benefits both the employee and the employer.

“It’s a great program,” said Coordinator of Patient Services and Quality Assurance for OCO’s Health Division, Diane Blasczienski  “We have six Youth Works members that have been working for us in several of our divisions.  They have been a welcome addition and have been very productive.”  OCO’s Youth Works employees, who range from a high school junior to a senior at SUNY Oswego, bring with them a variety of interests and work experience.

Jessica Hunneyman, who will be studying nursing at Crouse in the fall; Alissa Miller, who plans on attending Cayuga Community College; Mike Moss, a senior at SUNY Oswego; Juana Gonzalez, a junior at G. Ray Bodley High School; Angelica Tickle, a sophomore at Cazenovia College; and Tiffany Waite a senior at G. Ray Bodley High School; have been busy assisting several of OCO’s Divisions with a variety of office duties.

Hunneyman, a graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton, is happy to be working in the medical environment of OCO’s Health Division administrative offices.  “I have been gaining experience in data entry and general office duties at the health center,” said Hunneyman.  “With my interest in nursing I am fortunate to be gaining some real experience working with the medical professionals at OCO.”

For Miller and Gonzalez, the opportunity to have a summer job that allows them to meet new people, enhance their computer skills, and gain valuable experience working in an office setting was a perfect match as they both plan on attending college in the future and pursuing a career as office professionals.

Moss, who is studying Political Science at SUNY Oswego, is a veteran of the Youth Works program.  Now in his fifth year in the program, Moss has previously worked at the United Way and the Fulton Education Center.  This year he is gaining additional experience assisting OCO’s Information Technology Division.

“We are fortunate to have these hard working young people on our staff,” said Blasczienski.  “I am impressed with their professionalism and their dedication to their job.  They are focused on their assignments and work diligently to complete them.  I am amazed at just how productive they have been.”

This is the third year that OCO has tapped into the Youth Works Program.  “It’s a wonderful program and we are happy to be able to use it as a resource.  It’s as much a benefit to us as it is to the young people who participate in the program.”

An income based program, Youth Works is available to Oswego County youth ages 16 to 20, the goals of Youth Works is to provide Oswego County youth with:

-         Actual experience in a job while earning a paycheck

-         Opportunities to learn entry-level vocational skills

-         Education services if youth are in need of extra academic help

-         Career counseling to help youth decide what they might like to do in the future

-         Referral to other programs and services as needed

-         Knowledge of the basic competencies and foundation skills that are part of every job so that the youth can see a link between work and education

To ensure that the program operates smoothly and provides the worker with a good experience employers are responsible for adequate accountability for the workers time and attendance; providing a sufficient workload to occupy the workers assigned hours; providing sufficient equipment and materials to carry out all work assignments; and assurance of a safe and healthy work environment.  For more information on the Youth Works program you may contact their office at 591-9074.

OCO Inc. is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.  OCO, Inc. is a United Way of Greater Oswego county Member Agency.  For more information on OCO visit their web site at www.oco.org.

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