Several hundred teens took part in Monday's Oneida County Summer Youth Employment Program's Work Readiness Day at Mohawk Valley Community College.

The program provides youth ages 14 to 17 with real-world work experience.

About 400 local youth will be placed at work sites around the county.

They'll be working to beautify parks and recreation centers, plant community gardens and help operate community programs serving children.

“The Summer Youth Employment Program is a chance for local at-risk youth to seize a new opportunity and move toward a prosperous future,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. “Our program places these youth at hands-on sites to develop teamwork, communication and critical thinking skills, and prepares them to become productive employees with thriving careers.”

Picente was joined by other SYEP partners, including officials from the County STOP-DWI Program, the Department of Mental Health, Youth Bureau, Department of Health and Sheriff’s Office.