January 18th, 2024
ROC Your Job serves youth ages 14-20 with a focus on young people from Lower-income neighborhoods disproportionately affected by gun violence.
ROCHESTER, NY — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today announced a countywide youth employment initiative aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty and crime by connecting 260 local youth from underserved neighborhoods with job opportunities. ROC Your Job is a $1.7 million partnership between the County Department of Human Services and RochesterWorks supported by state funding secured by our legislative delegation. The program supports the expansion of year-round after-school employment.
“We must address chronic poverty issues by offering real opportunities and meaningful work for youth. Providing a young person with a job gives them a sense of pride and responsibility, helps ease the financial burden of their families, and makes them far less likely to be involved in criminal behaviors,” said County Executive Bello. “We are proud to fund this transformative partnership between the Department of Human Services and RochesterWorks. Thank you to our New York State delegation for their work to secure these funds.”
The County is hosting a Youth Employment Event on Saturday, January 20, to promote the ROC Your Job Initiative. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Kate Gleason Auditorium at the Downtown Rundell Library. Monroe County Department of Human Services staff will be available to assist with pre-employment requirements such as work permits and IDs, and laptops will be available to young people in attendance, allowing them to apply to the program before they leave.
“Our young people are looking for an opportunity to make a better lives for themselves and their families,” said Tony Jordan, Director of the Monroe County Youth Bureau. “I am proud of our team at the Department of Human Services and the Youth Bureau for proactively collaborating with Rochester Works to find new partnerships with community organizations to help young people earn money while finding a rewarding career.”
The Roc Your Job initiative is a collaboration between the Monroe County Department of Human Services and RochesterWorks that will connect jobs with 260 Monroe County youth, ages 14 to 20, with a focus on youth from lower income neighborhoods disproportionately affected by gun violence. The program will work with participating employers with the goal of providing long-term unsubsidized employment.
Monroe County Department of Human Services will work with families receiving financial assistance, to connect eligible youth with this opportunity. The County will also work with young people involved in the justice system, like those actively participating in the Juvenile Enhanced Diversion Stabilization (JEDS) program. The JEDS program connects young people engaged in criminal behaviors with supports and services immediately following an arrest as a means of diverting future criminal behavior and reducing rates of recidivism. This new opportunity will add employment opportunities to the ever growing services available to young people enrolled in JEDS, helping stabilize our community and combat crime.
“RochesterWorks is very excited about the launch of our ROC Your Job Youth After School Employment Program and grateful to the State and County for the funding helping to make it possible,” said Dave Seeley, Executive Director of RochesterWorks. “Being able to provide employment and income opportunities to our local youth that can prepare and inform them about long-term career pathways, much like our Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) does, but now also throughout the school year, is a win for both the participants and our community.”
“The ROC Your Job Initiative is a perfect example of how our community can work together to combat poverty in the City of Rochester,” said Senator Jeremy Cooney. Investing in youth employment, specifically in underserved neighborhoods, will reduce criminal activity and mischief and instead focus on youth empowerment and opportunity. Thank you, County Executive Bello, for this investment in Rochester’s workforce!”
“The best way to uplift our community is to invest in our youth and provide them with the tools and resources they need to thrive,” said Senator Samra Brouk. “This afterschool employment program will not only provide critical job readiness training for our young people, but will create a safe and productive alternative for students in need of afterschool activities. I look forward to ongoing collaboration with RochesterWorks! and Monroe County to ensure that our community receives the investment it deserves.”
“A good paying after-school job offers our young people the opportunity to build their self-esteem and learn new skills, while helping to lift them out of poverty through empowerment and community engagement,” said Assemblymember Harry Bronson. “They have a place to go, and can earn while they learn, and I applaud today’s launch of the ROC Your Job Initiative for being that resource. And as Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Labor, I believe providing these opportunities to our young people is critical to increasing equity in our workforce and building resilient communities.”
“The allocated funds from our state will support RochesterWorks with their ROC Your Job Initiative via the Monroe County Department of Human Services,” said Assemblymember Demond Meeks. This is a valuable opportunity to provide internships to help our youth gain valuable job experience and develop skills that will help them in their future. I am pleased to announce that $1.7 million will go towards supporting these efforts to bridge the gap in employment opportunities and to equip our youth with the skills they need to thrive. It will also help to build the local economy by providing youth with the opportunity to work and contribute to our community. Together, we can create a brighter future for all.”
“Finding ways to empower our youth is a key component of both our anti-poverty and anti-crime initiatives,” said Assemblymember Jen Lunsford. “The ROC Your Job Initiative is the culmination of hard-fought advocacy by the county, and the state delegation in Albany. I am thrilled to see the launch of this program, which will not only help lift our young people up and give them a productive way of spending their time, but it will also help us address our workforce shortage and reduce youth crime. This kind of initiative is going to have generational impacts on those it services.”
“Our region's future success is dependent on the investments we make in our youth, particularly our most underprivileged, and that is exactly why today’s announcement of $1.7 million in state funds for the ROC Your Job initiative is so important,” said Assemblymember Sarah Clark. “This after-school employment program, running through RochesterWorks and Monroe County's Department of Human Services, is a much needed investment in both our present youth and next the generation. Thank you to my colleagues in state and local government for collaborating to secure these critical dollars, which will create countless opportunities for our youth here in Rochester.”
“RochesterWorks is a tremendous program that is critically important in helping to sustain a pathway to a skilled and enduring workforce in Monroe County,” said Assemblymember Josh Jensen. “This funding will be valuable in helping the program expand its mission in assisting job seekers and business. Continued investment will greatly benefit our community allowing our entire region greater potential to thrive.”