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State sending Long Island $2.1M for youth job training

A total of $900,000 in state funds is

A total of $900,000 in state funds is to be spent in Nassau to help young people get jobs as part of a statewide program to reduce gun violence by offering job training to at-risk youths. Credit: James Carbone

A state-funded youth jobs program to reduce gun violence is allocating $2.1 million to Long Island, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced Wednesday.

Out of a pool of $16 million intended to serve 3,200 youths in 20 jurisdictions, Long Island's portion will help 420 young people get training and work. In Nassau County, there will be $900,000 to help 180 youths, while in Suffolk, $700,000 in state funds will go toward job training for 140, according to a news release from Cuomo’s office. In Hempstead, $500,000 will be available to help 100 youths.

The top recipient on Wednesday’s list was Buffalo, with $2.65 million for 530 youths.

The aim of the program is to connect "at-risk youth" with job training. Those who are eligible include unemployed, underemployed and out-of-school New Yorkers between 18 and 24 who live in areas with high gun violence.

In the release, Cuomo said the money will fund "job training and stable, good-paying career placement for our most vulnerable young people."

The program tasks community groups and other anti-gun-violence organizations as well as "violence intervenors" — reformed gang members dispatched on the street to quell beefs, and into hospitals to urge shooting victims not to retaliate — to refer youths.

Last week, Cuomo announced a similar program in New York City for $12 million to serve 2,400.

Offering jobs to discourage gun violence has been used across the country.

In Washington, D.C., this week, after several shootings, the local government’s Gun Violence Prevention Emergency Operations Center and nearby businesses sponsored a "Jobs Not Guns’ Recruitment Fair."

In 2019, Philadelphia's mayor put millions of dollars toward job training, as part of the "Roadmap to Safer Communities."

And five years ago, a jobs training program called CRED — Create Real Economic Destiny — began in Chicago, focusing on one of the communities responsible for a disproportionate share of the city's gun crime.

State & Region