Senator vows to fight cuts to local job training program

April 08, 2019 06:54 PM

SCHENECTADY -- Levi Brockway of Mariaville knew he needed a change. 

"Before YouthBuild, I was fighting with addiction. I was with the wrong people.  I was stealing, doing drugs," he said. 


A drug court counselor suggested Schenectady YouthBuild. 

"YouthBuild is a good support network. They've helped me through a lot of things. They did drug testing here. Everything to make sure you're doing what you're supposed to be doing."

YouthBuild Schenectady is a job training program for young adults. 

"They tell us when they come in our doors that they thought there was no hope for their future. At 19, to not feel like there's hope for your future. And that they don't have a direction," said Jennifer Lawrence, Schenectady YouthBuild Executive Director. 

Senator Chuck Schumer had a tour of the SEAT Center on State Street in Schenectady and he met with members of Schenectady YouthBuild, as he talked about his fight against the administration's proposed cuts to the program. He said 86-percent of the people out of YouthBuild get a good, paying job and most are still in those jobs a year later. 

Brockway has his eye on a bright future. 

"YouthBuild connected me to Appolo, which was really nice," he said. "I like where I'm working today. They have a lot of the same core values."

"I am going to do everything I can to restore this funding and I'll bet my bottom dollar I'll be able to come here this fall and say you're going to get the same or even more funding as you got last year," said Senator Chuck Schumer (D - Minority Leader). 

Schenectady YouthBuild has 500 graduates and as companies look for skilled employees, businesses like Appolo Heating and Cooling, and Precision Valve and Automation are employment partners.


Kumi Tucker

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