L.E.A.P. would like to congratulate our 19 youth participants on completing the 2020 Summer Youth Employment Program! As Washington County’s American Job Center, L.E.A.P. facilitates this annual program which allows eligible youth ages 14-20 to gain valuable work experience and learn new skills while earning a paycheck.
The program typically runs from late June to the end of August. However, according to L.E.A.P. Employment Counselor Rachel Thomas, who coordinates the program, the COVID 19 pandemic resulted in a delayed decision about releasing funding and a change in the timing of the program, which ran from the end of July to the end of September this year. The pandemic also resulted in many new safety measures to keep the youth participants safe, and challenged them to learn about social distancing in the workplace.
This year, $45 million in federal funding was designated statewide to fund the program, and L.E.A.P. received $115,627 from New York State’s Division of Budget Office to benefit the participants and worksites. There were 11 participating worksites throughout Washington County including Cambridge IGA, Alternative Sentencing/Washington County Youth Bureau, Broadway Lanes, Market 32, Historic Salem Courthouse/Community Center, Whitehall School, Whitehall Recreation Center, The Garden Barn, Greenwich School Bus garage, Sandy Hill & Union Cemetery, and the L.E.A.P. Office.
Julie Eagan, Director of of Whitehall Recreation Center, said of a summer youth participant, “Jillian is very punctual, dependable and hardworking. All of the workers we’ve had in SYEP have been real assets to our organization.” Herb Perkins from The Historical Salem Courthouse said, “I am a veteran with the L.E.A.P. Summer program and I am always impressed with how it works.”
According to Traci Ross, L.E.A.P.’s Executive Director, “Ms. Thomas did an incredible job coordinating the program, particularly due to the challenges she faced this year with very little advance notice and many new procedures due to the pandemic. This is a fantastic program, and our youth participants should be very proud of themselves for completing it, especially despite all the challenging circumstances!”
L.E.A.P.—Learning, Employment, Assistance, Partnership, was formerly known as the Washington County EOC. We are known throughout the community as a highly effective nonprofit agency that provides comprehensive, top quality programs and outreach services to the public. We support individuals and families in attaining self-sufficiency by providing services, sharing resources and through community collaboration. Our services include Head Start/Early Head Start for children 0-5 and pregnant mothers, Employment Counseling for Youth and Adults, Emergency Assistance, Transportation for Senior Citizens and Adults with Disabilities, a Community Garden, and an Emergency Food Pantry. For more information about L.E.A.P. please visit www.leapservices.org
Pictured in the above photo are, (left to right) L.E.A.P. Employment Counselor and SYEP Program Coordinator Rachel Thomas, SYEP Camp Counselor Adam Shulman, and SYEP Aide/Cleaner Leeanna Barker in front of the Historic Salem Courthouse. L.E.A.P. has signed photo releases on all three individuals.
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