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Workforce NY provides more career assistance in Schuyler

SCHUYLER COUNTY—Since the Workforce NY career services center has moved into the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls last year, it has seen an increase in people using it.
County Administrator Tim O’Hearn said that last year, the first year in the new offices, the career center’s usage by residents increased by 50 percent. Lisa Fuller, with the Workforce NY in Montour Falls, said his year had an increase in the last several months. June was the highest with 231 people coming in. One reason she gives for the jump during the summer is the program that gets work for teenagers.
Dan Porter, director of the five Chemung-Schuyler-Steuben Workforce NY programs, attributed the increase in use to the better facilities provided in the move. He said that since moving from the 12th Street location in Watkins Glen, this Workforce NY now has more computers, a career counselor visiting the office once a week, and more space.
Porter said being in the same complex with many other agencies people use also helps. This includes the Department of Social Services, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the Youth Bureau. Both O’Hearn and Porter said the current economy has also played a part in more people taking advantage of its services.
Porter explained that Workforce NY helps people who are looking for work, a different job, better job, switch from part-time to full-time, or a career change. This is done through resume workshops, job searches, and helping people get scholarships or grants for training. The services are free.
Fuller said the youth program helps teenagers find employment. A counselor helps them find a job, possibly of their choosing. She added ProAction, one of the agencies that make up Workforce NY, pays the wages for the employer. Fuller said the program also has funds to help pay for transportation and interview clothes for the teenagers. This summer, the list of employers includes Bradford and Watkins Glen schools, Cabins to Castles, Watkins Glen State Park, Glen Mountain Market, and Villager Motel. Fuller said these are usually the teenagers’ first job.
O’Hearn said that with the move the county’s Workforce NY program went from “the brink of extinction to exceeding the growth.”
“We could have been sending people to Steuben or Chemung,” he said, about if the office had closed.

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