TEEN program

Putting Teens To Work Is Win-Win For Youth And Business


County Youth Employment Program Readies Youngsters For Workplace

Psst! It’s time for businesses, nonprofits and municipalities to hire energetic youngsters who are trained and ready to work.

From May 1st through September 31st, employers can find skilled 15 to 20-year-old teens who have gone through Rockland County’s Youth Employment Program. The county will reimburse businesses up to 50% of minimum wage ($11.10) jobs. Municipalities and nonprofits that hire these teens will be 100% reimbursed.

To be eligible for these jobs, teens participate in the T.E.E.N. Works (Teen Employment Education Network) program. The preparation and placement program on the RCC campus can last from one to four weeks, and prepares teens for a variety of jobs including library page, receptionist, shelf stocker, grounds maintenance, and camp counselors. Graduates of the T.E.E.N. Works programs from prior years are eligible for job placement on May 1st. Teens in this year’s program are ready once they graduate. The county works to place the teens, though not all are guaranteed placement.

“This is not school,” said Phyllis Morena, planning and evaluation consultant for the youth bureau. “We want them to think about career opportunities and to give them the skills to be in the real world.”

Typically 150 teens a year participate in the program. Companies including i9 Sports, Kidsnet Childcare and Prestige Realty have hired graduates of the work program, as have many nonprofits and villages, towns and counties. Morena said the county, which runs the program on a budget of about $300,000, does not have the ability to track whether or not companies maintain these teens in their workforce after the program ends.

Nevertheless, the county sends outs monitors while these teens are employed to gauge their progress.

Most importantly, teens need to learn skills that they don’t necessarily absorb at school.

“Teens need to be taught the soft skills today,” Morena added.

The program coaches them on dressing properly, social etiquette and cell phone restraint. Teens must leave their phones locked up during the training period. Teens are also given bus passes so they learn to navigate the county.

For more information on becoming an employer through the Youth Employment Program, contact the Youth Bureau at (845) 364-2929.

Applications for T.E.E.N. Works are available at rocklandgov.com, at the offices of the Rockland County Youth Bureau in Pomona, or by email RCYB@co.rockland.ny.us  The deadline for submitting an application is June 10, 2019.