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4-H + Youth Bureau + Planning Department = ACT for Youth Success

WARRENSBURG Members of the ACT for Youth Mapping project met on January 13 to review the results of the survey that they conducted on behalf of ACT for Youth and the Warrensburg Comprehensive Planning Committee. The report presented was the result of 52 face-to-face interviews with business owners, town board members, civic organizations, and individuals. The survey questions were focused on the services that these businesses, organizations, or individuals offered to youth. Many of the questions centered on employment opportunities or volunteer opportunities within the community. However, individuals were asked about what beneficial services or skills they may provide youth programs in the community. Of the 25 businesses interviewed, 88 percent were locally owned, while only 3 percent were not. Nearly fifty-percent of the businesses offered some type of employment opportunities to youth in the community. Sixty-percent of those businesses that offered employment opportunities had part-time jobs, while thirty-percent offered full time jobs. Starting wages ranged from minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. What are these employers looking for in an employee? That can be summed up relatively easily as the following: reliability, punctuality, responsibility, drug-free, clean cut, polite, and youth who stay out of trouble. The youth surveyors felt that they had the following skills to offer if given the opportunity: loyalty, respectful, hard work, punctuality, responsibility, positive attitude, and good attendance. So both employers and potential employees overlapped in several areas of interest. What did the respondents feel that Warrensburg youth need? The following is a partial list and is not in level of priority: more jobs, education, educational opportunities outside of school, community activities outside of school, sports/recreation, outdoor/wilderness recreation, music & arts, mentoring, leadership development, intergenerational programs, and transportation to events. For more information about the ACT for Youth program contact John Bowe at Cornell University Cooperative Extension at 668-4881 or Margaret Sing Smith at Warren County Youth Bureau 761-6498.

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