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Suffolk and Huntington Town team up on jobs center

Tracey Edwards of the Huntington Town Council, seen

Tracey Edwards of the Huntington Town Council, seen here in 2013, said it was critical to set up the Huntington Station Opportunity Resource Center, which will offer employment and training services. Credit: Ed Betz

Suffolk County and the Town of Huntington are jointly creating the Huntington Station Opportunity Resource Center, to offer a raft of employment and training services.

"You can't revitalize the area without people having opportunities as well," said town Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards, who conceived of the resource center. "It was critical to me . . . to try to do whatever we can to help the community advance."

The center will provide counseling, programs and assistance to address unemployment, underemployment and impediments to securing employment; employment leads; vocational, trade and computer training; internship opportunities; technical business assistance; and informational seminars.

Edwards said she hopes to open at the end of June, at 1264 New York Ave., current home of the Huntington Station Enrichment Center. Services will also be provided at the Huntington Business Incubator, at 1268 New York Ave.

"This center will serve a dual purpose of bringing services to people who need them and people to a community that is continuing its economic revitalization," said Supervisor Frank Petrone in a statement.

The Huntington Town Board voted at its May 6 meeting to authorize the town's Community Development Agency to execute a memorandum of understanding with the county.

Edwards' mother, Dolores Thompson, who has run the enrichment center for years, will have an unpaid "advisory role" at the new center, Edwards said. An after-school youth program at the enrichment center for more than a decade stopped providing that service last June. Most of her remaining programs will move.

"I'm just thrilled the resource center is going to fulfill the mission of the Enrichment Center of getting people into job training and placements," Thompson said.

Edwards said the center's English as a Second Language program, which the county runs, will continue in the new center.

"Ensuring that all residents have access to county services is of the utmost importance to my administration," said County Executive Steve Bellone in a statement. "By working in partnership with the Town of Huntington, we are making it easier and more convenient for people to take advantage of the county programs designed to assist them."

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