ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Governor Kathy Hochul announced an investment of more than $47 million into the state’s Summer Youth Employment Program for the coming summer on Wednesday, May 24.

The program helps communities across the state create summer jobs for youth from low-income families and is intended to provide youth with valuable work experience and help them improve their educational performance. Participants work in entry-level jobs, including summer camps, educational facilities, and community-based organizations. Last year, the program served more than 18,500 youth in New York State.

“For so many young people, having a summer job is a rite of passage that helps them gain valuable skills and their first experiences in the workplace,” Governor Hochul said in a statement. “The Summer Youth Employment Program provides invaluable experiences for young people from low-income households, teaching them responsibilities that can help them excel in careers later in life.”

Locally, the state reports that Oneida County will receive just over $600,000 from the investment. Herkimer County will receive just over $167,000, while Otsego County will receive just under $200,000.

“Youth from low-income households often face a challenging transition to living-wage work and higher education,” New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said in a statement. ”The Summer Youth Employment Program provides them an opportunity to work alongside professionals and learn the critical skills needed to pursue a living-wage career in the modern workforce. These young New Yorkers can apply the critical insights gained through this program to help expand their horizons and achieve their career aspirations.”

To be eligible for the program, youth must be between the ages of 14 and 20 and have a household income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Youth that wish to participate in the program should contact their local Department of Social Services office.