Clinton, NY (WIBX) - Private and public sector working together to improve the lives of area residents, while developing the Human Services workforce of the future. That's the message Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. delivered at Clinton Elementary School this morning, recognizing the County's successful Summer Youth Internship Program at the Kelberman Center. "Our goal here is very simple; we have college students that are either here or in other areas throughout the state that are going to school or in other areas around the country, but we want them to come back to Oneida County," Picente said as he praised the hiring by Upstate Cerebral Palsy of seven interns who took part in the program at the Kelberman Center.

The Kelberman Center of Excellence on Autism serves individuals across their life span in 9 Counties across Central New York, providing diagnostics, school programs and a gamut of After School Programs for young people and adults. Robert Myers, Executive Director at the Center said, "Over the last five years they've [Oneida County] provided a number of college students who come back to Oneida County to work in community based programs. Our interns happen to work in our Summer Camp, which serves about 65 children with autism."

The students work four days a week across a couple of Counties, on social skills development for children with autism. The hiring by Upstate Cerebral Palsy prompted officials to highlight the work being done to keep young people from leaving the area for better job opportunities. Dave Mathis, Director, Oneida County Workforce Development says he's proud of the hiring. "I'm very proud because this is a program that is supported with 100-percent Oneida County funds. Oneida County Board of Legislators and the County Executives Office--even in the toughest of economic times--have supported this program because it's about the future, and if you don't invest in the future you may not have a future, so this program is just incredible and I love it."

The Oneida County College Student Corps program was created in 1998 by the County's Board of Legislators. Mathis advises parents and students interested in taking part in the program to sign up early. To find out how, contact the Oneida County Workforce Development office at (315) 798-5908.