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Colleen Pillus, (845) 486-2000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Colleen Pillus, (845) 486-2000
Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro recently congratulated local young people who completed the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services’ (DCFS) “Youth Financial Literacy & Computer Training Program,” an annual course that teaches them valuable financial and computer skills.
DCFS collaborated with four local agencies – Dutchess BOCES, TEG Federal Credit Union, the Poughkeepsie Public Library District and the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board – to coordinate financial and computer training for 12 local youth, many of whose families receive services from the department. The program provides the youth with budgeting and computer skills; learning is one of the six core domains of Dutchess County’s “Path to Promise” to help youth throughout the county reach their potential.
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. In addition, this year, the youth learned about the benefits of Digital Literacy Library cards and academic e-book access from the staff at the Poughkeepsie Public Library District’s Adriance Memorial Branch. On the final day of the program, the participants toured the Dutchess County One Stop Career Center and learned about the available services to help them find jobs.
County Executive Molinaro said, "Dutchess County and its community partners not only have faith in these young men and women, we’ve actively given them the skills and tools to succeed and become our next generation of leaders. By completing this important program, the participants have built a strong foundation for success in their future undertakings – be that further education or entering the workforce. We thank our community collaborators for their willingness to impart their wisdom with our youth and invest their expertise and resources to make this program, and the young men and women who take part in it, a success.”
The participants, who range in age between 13 to 18; to qualify for the program, must achieve satisfactory attendance and satisfactory grades in school. At the successful completion of 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 13 years, the computer training program has served 268 youths. Ninety-seven 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. The program is funded through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and the Foster Care Block Grant.