A bright, sunny, and warm day in June—a welcome break from nearly two weeks of rain—was a perfect day for a barbecue at Waryas Park in the
City of Poughkeepsie. That afternoon, a small army of staff and participants from Youth One Stop and the Workforce Development Center arrived, armed
with tablecloths, charcoal, hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the fixings.
Tucked under the arm of the Youth One Stop coordinator was a folder thick with certificates signed by Workforce Program Manager Anne DeMuro and President
and CEO Frank Castella, Jr. They said things like, “this certificate is awarded … for attaining a Certified Nursing Certificate.”
After a few attempts, the charcoals were lit and soon the merry sizzle of burgers and hot dogs filled the air along with the appetizing smell of homemade
salads. Participants and staff piled their plates high, sharing in the delicious fare and well-earned break in routine.
After a well-fed silence settled on the group, Mr. Castella spoke to the participants.
“We really appreciate how hard you’ve worked on improving your lives,” he began. “These are some major accomplishments you’ve achieved and we’re very
proud. Please know our door is always open to you whenever you need help.”
Many individuals in attendance received a Certificate, some for achieving his or her High School Equivalency Diploma, others for completing an occupational
skills class. There were also certificates congratulating individuals for maintaining a job for over 2 years.
Regardless, each stood for a photo next to Mr. Castella with a proud smile, soaking in the recognition of their accomplishments.
Following the official business, the atmosphere relaxed again as another round of hamburgers and hot dogs were cooked, conversations turned to stories
and laughter, and a feeling of pride crept over the whole affair. Later, each picked up his or her certificate with care, determined not to get
them creased or wrinkled—some even thinking of framing it.
The Dutchess Youth One Stop and Career Action Center at Poughkeepsie High School, two programs made possible through community partnerships, hosted the
4th annual Career and Job Fair at Poughkeepsie High School on Thursday, April 27 featuring more than 50 community businesses and organizations from
industries such as health and wellness, government, education, retail services, trade industries, and more.
Career Pathways are a network of structured and connected education programs and support services that enable participants, often while they are working,
to grow towards a specific career and higher levels of education and training.
The NYS Department of Labor Regional Analysis has projected healthcare jobs will remain vitally important to our region’s economy. As part of an ongoing
Work Experience Initiative, youth from the Dutchess County Youth One Stop and Career Action Center at Poughkeepsie High School recently participated
in a job shadow day at the Children’s Medical Group.
As part of the shadow day, Clinical Manager Susan Haegler, along with her staff, offered an insider’s look at the work environment and careers available
in a pediatric healthcare facility.
Healthcare careers such as physician, registered nurse, and patient care technician were discussed along with positions in the various departments
necessary for smooth day-to-day operations including human resources, finance, medical lab, mailroom, and patient registration.
The presentation emphasized excellent customer service as one of the most important skills necessary in this service industry. Speakers also stressed
working hard and taking advantage of opportunities for continuing education.
“We learned that even if you start off in a low position, you can move up the ladder of success as long as you are willing to learn,” said Georgette
Riley, an attendee at the shadow day.