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County Program Teaches Young Residents Vital Financial and Computer Skills

Published: 8/13/2018

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro congratulates 20 local young people who recently completed the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services (DCFS) “Youth Financial Literacy & Computer Training Program,” an annual two-day course that teaches them valuable financial and computer skills. DCFS held two training sessions this summer in July and August, the latter concluding last week.

Young adults attending Youth Financial Literacy & Computer Training ProgramDCFS collaborated with three local agencies – Dutchess BOCES, TEG Federal Credit Union, and the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board – to coordinate financial and computer training for local youth, many of whose families receive services from the department. The training teaches them about budgeting and computer programs.

A mentor from TEG Federal Credit Union taught students about financial literacy, and an instructor from Dutchess BOCES taught them about budgeting, employment, and computer skills, as well as the dangers of and appropriate use of the Internet and social media.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Bolstered by the skills they’ve learned during this program, these young men and women are members of the community in whom we can all be proud, and Dutchess County looks forward to their future success. The skills they’ve each learned as part of the program will serve them well in their future endeavors, and Dutchess County supports their aspirations and will continue to help them attain their goals. We thank our community partners for their willingness to share their insight, as well as for making an investment of time and resources in Dutchess County’s future leaders.”

The participants, who range in age between 14 and 18, took part in the training sessions and all came from families who receive public assistance or foster care services from DCFS. Participants must achieve satisfactory attendance and satisfactory grades in school to qualify for the program, which is funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and the Foster Care Block Grant.

At the successful completion of two full days in the program, each participant earned a laptop computer and printer to help them pursue their goals of attending college and pursuing a career.

In the past 12 years, the computer training program has served 256 youths. Eleven of the 12 Foster Care youth enrolled in the last class have now successfully moved on to independence, no longer requiring assistance through DCFS, or have begun attending college classes. Ninety-nine percent of youth participating in the program from 2011 to 2017 are no longer on Temporary Assistance. 
This program has been recognized as a best practice for youth job preparation and was showcased at the 2015 summer conference of the New York Public Welfare Association.