Giving Back, Gaining Skills

Johnstown Youth Corps is funded through Community Foundation for the Alleghenies Community Initiatives Fund

Another summer of Johnstown Youth Corps (JYC) has kicked off, with a team of eight local teens working together to do good throughout the city.

Goodwill of the Southern Alleghenies and Pennsylvania CareerLink Cambria County partner to create the summer workforce development and community project program. The JYC, which receives funding from CFA’s Community Initiatives Fund, is designed to provide youth who are ages 16–24 with paid work experience.

This year, through a partnership with the Alternative Community Resource Program’s (ACRP) Youth Employment Services (Y.E.S.), they will be tackling meaningful construction projects in a structure that allows them to follow safety guidelines recommended by health authorities in light of the pandemic.

So far, the teens have already helped create protective screens for outpatient centers, and they are now focused on making 80 beds for local kids who don’t have one. ACRP will deliver the new beds with pillows, comforters, and pajamas for local children.

JYC Coordinator Josh Beck said the program is an effective way to help kids become successful through work and educational development.

“We bring everybody together, and we can really get a lot done,” he said.

Y.E.S. Program Director Jim Buday said the skills the teens develop can be life-changing.

“Both agencies try to teach kids how to become good employees and offer experience to lead to a successful career,” he said. “It’s an important partnership.”

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