For Immediate Release
March 31, 2022
Countywide Initiative Aims to Assist 140 At-Risk Youth with Paid Training & Employment Placement
Photos of Event are Available Here
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today joined educators, and business and community leaders to announce the Suffolk County “Earn & Learn” workforce training program at Wyandanch Memorial High School.
“The Wyandanch Earn and Learn Program is a model for how we can make a positive impact in our communities and a difference in the lives of at-risk youth through workforce training,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. “This program empowers educators and community leaders to provide at-risk youth a path towards meaningful employment.”
“This is a great step towards creating opportunities for our students to have access to skills and job training that have a long-lasting impact in their lives and for generations to come,” said Suffolk County Legislature Minority Leader Jason Richberg. “Programs like this can help both individuals and communities invest in themselves and create meaningful personal and societal change.”
The Wyandanch High School Earn and Learn Workforce Training Program offers paid-training, life skills, coaching and job-placement to Wyandanch High School juniors and seniors, as well as out-of-school youth and young adults, ages 18 to 24.
The program is funded by New York State and Suffolk County Gun Violence Prevention program grants and is administered under the auspices of Wyandanch Memorial High School. Training takes place twice a week and is divided into two cohorts: one for in-school participants (12) and another for out-of-school young adults (8).
For in-school participants, training takes place on school grounds, while out of-school-youth attend all training at the Family Life Center located in the Wyandanch Youth Center. The 14-week program began this month, and to date all 20 qualified participants are now enrolled and receiving paid training in one of four in-demand career paths, including:
- structured cable technician
- engineering test technician
- social media strategist
- data analysis
Each industry-driven course provides a combination of hands-on, experiential learning as well as weekly lectures and evaluations. Depending on their focus, enrollees will learn the following workforce readiness skills:
- Data Analysis students will learn how to work with data to glean useful information, gain an understanding of Python, and how to use Excel, Tableau, and additional programs for statistical presentation and analysis
- Social Media Strategist students will spend time managing and tracking content on social media pages, as well as how to manage editorial calendars, and drive engagement through online marketing and the psychology of buying
- Engineering Test Technicians will acquire the skills to develop and execute testing procedures for products and new features in both software and hardware application environments
- Structured Cable Technicians will examine the basics for installation, troubleshooting and design assistance with video and data cabling, as well as troubleshooting for cable & networks.
Upon successful completion, study students will be workforce ready for entry-level positions in each of these technology fields. Curriculum, training, and placement for participants has been facilitated in partnership with the Urban League of Long Island, Soter Technologies, and Springboard Incubators Inc. – all of whom work with the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing, & Consumer Affairs to ensure adherence to grant guidelines.
Following program completion enrollees will have the opportunity for job placement with participating local employers.
The Wyandanch Training program is one of several gun violence prevention, intervention, and workforce training programs coordinated by the Suffolk County Department of Labor, Licensing, and Consumer Affairs. Similar programs are underway in Bay Shore, Brentwood, and Bridgehampton with additional sites expected.
To date, the County wide initiative has approximately 65 at-risk youth taking advantage of the opportunity to be placed in paid employment or training. Participating education and training providers include, but are not limited to, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, the United Way of Long Island, Hunter Business School, and the Long Island School of Healthcare Careers. All providers offer workforce training in one, or more, of the following career paths: Green Construction Energy Efficiency Technician, Data Analyst, Phlebotomy Technician, EKG Technician, Medical Office Administration, Engineering Test Tech, Structured Cable Tech, and more.
SCDOLLCA Commissioner Rosalie Drago said: "Through the Department of Labor, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has created workforce education and training opportunities in a manner accessible to students and at-risk young adults. That’s big. It means student participants have access to both opportunity and mentorship without having to leave school grounds, and out-of-school youth have a chance to develop an in-demand skill set that may lead to gainful employment.”
Dr. Gina Talbert, Wyandanch Superintendent of Schools said: "The Wyandanch Union Free School District is pleased to team up with Suffolk County Department of Labor under the leadership of Commissioner Rosalie Drago, and partner with The Urban League of Long Island initiated by President Theresa Sanders. In working in tandem with one another, our high school scholars are being empowered with job development and training, as well as first time employment and career readiness skills. A special thank you is extended to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for his vision to prepare young people to be competitive in the workforce and equip them with the entrepreneurial skills necessary for successful self-employment.”
Theresa Sanders, President and CEO, Urban League of Long Island said: “The Urban League of Long Island is proud of the collaboration with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the Suffolk County Department of Labor, under the leadership of Rosalie Drago, to fund tech training and job placement opportunities for youth and young adults. Our strategic partners, including Soter Technologies, Springboard Incubators Inc., the Wyandanch Youth Center, and Wyandanch School District have created an eco-system to successfully lead youth and young adults to economic prosperity by providing training for living wage jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities."
Derek Peterson, Founder and CEO, Soter Technologies said: "I am delighted to be a part of the wonderful program. The Wyandanch Technical Center will be a great pathway for students to learn new skills that could directly impact their future. One of my many goals is to be able to give back to the community and help with job creation on Long Island."
Dr. Steven C. Lindo, Chairman and CEO, SpringBoard Incubators Inc. said:" I believe that education and opportunity are two of the main ingredients that can elevate struggling communities. They go together, you cannot be successful if you only have one and not the other. SpringBoard Incubators Inc’s goal is to make a significant impact in the lives of our children, such that they will have an opportunity to achieve their dreams of becoming successful skilled professionals. Providing these skilled IT training courses and aligning the program with employers is the best approach for real change. I am happy to be part of the solution working with County Executive Steve Bellone and his team.”