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Summer youth employment program celebrates its workers


Warren County leaders honor Summer Youth Employment Program workers

29 youth worked through program this summer

WARREN COUNTY, NY – Twenty-nine youth workers who spent their summers working through Warren County’s Summer Youth Employment Program were feted Friday for the roles they served in the county’s workforce.

All of the youth workers were recognized during an annual picnic luncheon at East Field in Glens Falls that brought together workers as well as representatives of the employers who hosted them, Warren County supervisors and other local leaders. They were celebrated for effort, punctuality, perfect attendance and other qualities they displayed during their time helping the SYEP program.

Three in particular were celebrated by program organizers Warren County Employment & Training Administration:

Rising Star: Averi Belanger of Queensbury, age 14 – honored for demonstrating a lot of growth during the program.

Rock Star: Kyle Burkett of Glens Falls, age 16honored for demonstrating a high level of professionalism and work ethic during program.

Employee of the Summer: Serenity Wood of Johnsburg, age 17honored for standing out with outstanding work qualities and perfect attendance.

The 29 youth, ages 14 to 20, were placed at 20 municipal, non-profit and business job sites in eight municipalities (Queensbury, Warrensburg, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, Johnsburg, Thurman, Chester and the city of Glens Falls). Their $15 per hour salaries are paid through federal grant funding.

They persevered through a hot summer and greatly helped many employers and workplaces that have dealt with historic workforce challenges in recent years.

Said Liza Ochsendorf, Warren County Director of Employment & Training: “While some of the youth returned to the program this summer for a second or third year, for many others, it was their first work experience and I want to commend all of the youth for taking a risk in trying something new. It is evident that they excelled in not only learning job skills but also learning something about themselves.”

Ochsendorf saluted them for their efforts at Friday’s picnic, while the youth workers and their employers heard words of encouragement Friday from Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Geraghty, the town supervisor from Warrensburg, and Acting Warren County Administrator Craig Leggett, the town supervisor from Chester.

Chairman Geraghty said: “The Summer Youth Employment Program not only provides valuable work experiences for our youth but also helps our local businesses and government entities operate during our busiest time of the year. We thank our young workers as well as Warren County Employment & Training Administration for their efforts with this program every year.”

Ochsendorf also praised the efforts of Warren County Employment & Training Administration employees Jill Metcalfe (Youth Counselor) and Andrea Kinderman (Employment & Training Coordinator), who spend many hours during the summer preparing the youth for their jobs, driving throughout the county to conduct site visits and observe the workers in action, and providing both the employee and the employer with the support to ensure the success of the youth workers.

Said Metcalfe:The Summer Youth Employment Program provides opportunities for young people to venture into a rewarding work experience while building professional relationships and learning new skills that positively impact their futures. A foundation is paved for the youth participant’s career path and is monumental in boosting their confidence and overall sense of achievement. It is incredibly rewarding to witness our youth grow during the six-week program, to believe in themselves and become inspired to pursue their lifelong goals.”

For more information on the program and other programs offered by Warren County Employment and Training Administration, go to