The 12th annual Youth Works Summer Program held its closing ceremony 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26 at Pittsfield City Hall with the city’s Director of Administrative Services, Roberta McCulloch-Dews, recognizing the achievements of youth workers who successfully completed a summer of employment throughout Berkshire County.
Event speakers included Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, current youth participants Raven Basinger, Garrett Haywood, Gabe Shultheis, and Youth Works alum Nolan Stout.
The praised the 35 program graduates for their diligence and presented them with certificates.
Youth Works participants included: Zaniyah Adams; Trisann Alexander; Emma Borden; Tylor Bourne; Roy Brauski; Shea Carrington; Zachary Croshier; Arianna DeGroat; Miguel Estrella; Caitlyn Gelineau; Shannon Gwozdz; Isiah Hartman-Caezar; Garrett Haywood; Daniella Herrera-Pusquin; Isaiah Hill-Johnson; Sapphire Holland; Brett Holsborg; Courtney Kalinowski; Devin Kickery; Kasondra Langlois; Kah-lil Lanphear-Dyer; Katelyn Lauren; Brandon Lefleur; Kurt Miller; Isaiah Moore; Kristian Pridgen; Faustina Ramos; Peter Rodriguez; Gabe Schultheis; Tazia Simmons; Trevon Thompson; Shalier Tibbs-Jackson; Cody Turner; Jaden Williams; and Mya Wright.
The Pittsfield program, in operation since 2005 through Berkshire Works Career Center, offers underserved 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.
All youth also received 15 hours of “Signaling Success” Work Readiness training.
Some youth were hired on by their employers during, and after the completion of the program.
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.
For more information, please contact Kelly Groves, Youth Services Coordinator, at 413-499-2188.