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County Program Teaches Young People Critical Computer and Financial Skills

Published: 8/15/2013

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie, NY... Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro congratulated the young people who completed the Dutchess County Department of Community & Family Services (DCFS) “Computer Zone” computer training sessions this afternoon at a special graduation ceremony.   DCFS held two separate computer training sessions this summer for young people to help them gain important skills to plan and budget for adult independence.

County Executive Molinaro offered this to the students, “You have been given an opportunity to learn new skills and have been provided with tools to help you succeed.   You will need to continue to work hard and strive for success, but we want you to know that your community is behind you to help achieve that success.”

Twenty six young people, between the ages of 15 -19 years old whose families receive Temporary Assistance, participated in the two training courses.     Participants must have satisfactory attendance and satisfactory grades in school. 
The courses spanned over two days during which participants learned about budgeting, employment, computer skills as well as the dangers of and appropriate use of the internet and social media.  Each participant earned a laptop computer, backpack and printer at the successful completion of the course to assist in pursuit of their goals of technical careers or attending college.

The training courses were provided in partnership with Dutchess County BOCES, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as IES technologies and Bridgeway Federal Credit Union.

This is the seventh consecutive year for the computer training program, which began in 2007.   To date, the program has served over 165 young people.   Past participants have stated that the skills provided in the course and the earned computer enabled them to better focus on homework; served as an important to get into/or be  prepared by college; or they even used it to assist parents learn computer skills.

A mother of one of the participants, who had older children graduate from the program and go on to college, stated, “This has been a life changing program for my children.  It enabled them to succeed in high school and helped prepare them for college. You are helping these kids build a life for themselves.”