The Pittsfield 2015 Youth Works Summer Program held its closing ceremony on Friday, Aug. 21 at Pittsfield City Hall with Mayor Bianchi, recognizing the achievements of youth workers who successfully completed a summer of employment throughout Berkshire County.
Event speakers included State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier; Michael Dunn, Youth Program Coordinator; and Darien Hunter, former Youth Works Program participant.
The mayor praised the 46 program graduates for their diligence and presented them with certificates.
Youth Works participants included: Reilly Balcom; Raven Basinger; Tyrell Beverly; Karif Brown; Tanaijsa Brutus; Jameson Davis; John DeBethune; Alex Dudek; Miguel Estrella; Chad Foley; Chris Frazier; Dillian Gamello; Ty’Shae Guity; Walter Hatch; Robert Hayden; Biagio Kauvil; Nycole Kiley; Samantha Lacasse-Andrews; Kasondra Langlois; Cameron MacDonald; Kayla Miraglia; Sawyer Mitchell; Carlos Pascual; Michael Perkins; Adriana Powell; Rossana Quispe; Adrianna Rangel; Kristy Renzi; Jazmyn Ridley; Jenna Schilling; Louis Silva; Tazia Simmons; Jermaine Sistrunk; Hannah Sturdivant; Nicholas Svirskiy; Kiyame Taft; Tahjmir Tarrance; Treyvon Taylor; Justin Thompson; Pierre Turcotte; Carissa Vranas; Quenten Whalen; Elton Wilkins; Be’Asia Williams; Destiny Wright; and Deonte Young.
The Pittsfield program, in operation since 2005 through Berkshire Works Career Center, offers income-eligible youth, as well as those with additional personal and social barriers, with an enriching summer employment experience. Youth participants, ages 14-21, worked in the areas of building/grounds maintenance, retail, food service, human services/community connections, child care, sports and recreation and healthcare.
Youth Works and related programs help to address the current issue around record unemployment rates among the state and nation’s youth population and help to foster the necessary basic skill training and experience that allows them to develop the critical knowledge and understanding around how to achieve success in the workplace.
Funding for the program comes in part by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development as allocated within the state’s annual budget; additionally, Guardian Insurance Company has provided funds toward the Pittsfield program for the past two years allowing for additional youth to gain employment.