BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — 926 jobs are coming to Western New York for at risk youth.
“Our approach is to capture them while they’re young, before they turn to a life of crime,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said.
More than 300 jobs will be summer positions for anyone aged 15 to 24. The state is partnering with local workforce boards to provide job training and placement into 625 long-term jobs for those out of school.
“To help eradicate violence by giving them an alternative, giving them hope, allowing them to see the possibilities of a different outcome all together than perhaps what their parents experienced,” Hochul said.
“There’s an old saying that nothing stops a bullet like a job,” President of the Buffalo’s Father Association Leonard Lane said.
The program targets eight neighborhoods in Buffalo, four in Niagara Falls and one in Jamestown. These jobs are meant to be the first step towards a brighter future.
“And they become the small business people of tomorrow, they become the entrepreneurs, the thinkers, the inventors, the people running hospitals and organizations,” Hochul said.
Lane said it’s important to shape kids minds, even when it comes to things as simple as toys.
“By teaching our children at an early age not to play with toy guns will hopefully deter them from picking up a real gun,” Lane said.
There will be a toy exchange on Friday the 23 at 3 PM at East Ferry and Grider Homes. Children can bring in a toy gun for a non-violent option such as a basketball, fishing pole or book.