Westchester Officials Launch 2013 Summer Jobs Program

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Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino praised the summer jobs program on Thursday. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – The Business Council of Westchester is looking for a few good employers.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, officials from the Business Council and alumni of the summer jobs program gathered Thursday morning at the Tarrytown House Estate and Conference Center to kick off the 2013 summer program.

“Summer workers can add tremendous value,” Astorino said, noting that businesses can benefit from an extra worker and young adults can get valuable experience.

This will be the fourth year for the program, which is a collaboration with the Business Council of Westchester and the Westchester-Putnam Investment Board. The program has placed more than 370 youths in summer jobs, and officials say they want to find 200 jobs this summer.

The program brings private-sector businesses and officials together to find summer jobs lasting six to eight weeks for young adults. There is no public money involved.

Astorino praised the program, saying it helps young people learn about responsibility while giving them a paycheck. It also helps willing youth find employment and add to their résumés in a tough economy, he said.

“We hear the term 'win-win,' ” he said. “It really is.”

Lourdes Harkins, a human resources director for the Tarrytown House Estate, said hiring one or two people for the summer program has always been valuable.

“We've found such value in bringing youths into the workplace and making a commitment,” she said.

White Plains resident Kelsey Belgrave, 22, agreed. Belgrave is an alumnus of the program and says she still does freelance work for the design firm that  hired her.

“Overall, the experience was really good,” she said. “I learned a lot.”

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