A group of youth from Columbia-Greene Workforce Development’s Summer Youth Employment Program took to the streets of Hudson to participate in the new Shared Streets initiative this summer.
Created in the wake of COVID-19 guidelines – turning the streets into a community space for pedestrians, bicyclists, and businesses – the project entailed putting distance barriers out; delivering notices to businesses; promoting tourism and beautification; and assisting with Hudson. N.Y.’s Sankofa Black Arts & Cultural Festival.
“Shared Streets provided a wonderful way to involve our youth this summer and gave them lifelong experiences and insights into what they want to do,” explained Rebecca Preusser, assistant director of Columbia-Greene Workforce. “This initiative truly exemplified the mission of the Summer Youth Employment Program.”
Shared Streets resulted when Hudson Hall, Operation Unite, Columbia-Greene Youth Workforce, and several other organizations joined forces to figure out how to reopen the city of Hudson so that residents could safely support local businesses. The students learned about professional development, workplace communication, financial literacy, and more to give them confidence to enter workplace with the skills they need.
“We have been eager to involve Columbia-Greene interns for some time, and Shared Streets provided the ideal opportunity,” noted Sage Carter, General Manager of Hudson Hall. They really were a very special group of students who became very close. How wonderful it was to see great friendships bloom in the middle of this horrible pandemic.”
Columbia-Greene Workforce Development’s Summer Youth Employment Program is a grant- funded program that enables youth, ages 14-20, from Columbia and Greene Counties to work with employers 25-30 hours per week in a variety of fields to gain valuable experience. Participants generally receive summer youth wages, and Columbia-Greene Workforce pays the workman’s compensation. This arrangement allows local businesses to provide job training while receiving extra summer help without the extra labor expenses.
For more information about the Columbia-Greene Youth Workforce program, contact Rebecca Preusser at email@example.com.