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Young Residents Learn Critical Financial and Computer Skills through Dutchess County Program

Published: 8/31/2021

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today congratulated eight 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 participants valuable financial and computer skills.

DCFS collaborated with the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board and the Dutchess One Stop to coordinate financial and computer training for local young people, many of whose families receive services from the department. The program provides the youth with budgeting and computer skills.

The program began with the young people learning how to identify their skillset and creating a resume and cover letter to grab the attention of a potential employer.  The participants gained important computer skills and learned the dangers and appropriate use of the Internet and social media.  The students learned about financial literacy, budgeting and using formulas in Excel through a real-life hands-on scenario where they made budget decisions for a family of four.  Program participants learned how to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint to complete school assignment and projects. On the final day of the program, the participants learned about the Dutchess County One Stop Career and Employment Center, as well as the available services to help them find jobs.

County Executive Molinaro said, “I congratulate each of today’s program graduates for their desire to build a better tomorrow for themselves and their families, as well as their determination to complete this highly successful program. The skills our valued community partners have instilled in this young men and women will carry them far in their career pursuits, and we thank these collaborators for sharing their knowledge and insight. Dutchess County looks forward to following these participants’ success stories as they become our community’s next generation of leaders and role models.”

The students ranged in age from 13 to 18; to qualify for the program, participants must achieve satisfactory attendance and satisfactory grades in school. At the successful completion of three 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 14 years, the computer training program has served 276 youth. 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.