Utica, NY (WIBX) - In its third year, the Oneida County Children Care initiative has seen another year of growth, both in participation and in volunteer hours.

According to County Executive Anthony Picente, 733 youths delivered more than 690 hours to Oneida County last year.

He says this would not have happened without the help of local agencies, including Compeer of the Mohawk Valley, the YWCA and the Thea Bowman house.

"It's just about collaboration," Picente said. "It's about working together. It's about true partnerships, but it's also about getting young people involved in their community."

Oneida County Youth Bureau Director, Bob Roth, says higher youth volunteer numbers are a positive trend compared to other regions of the state and the country.

"It's not that way in Oneida County because of the people in this room," Roth said. "It's not that way in Oneida County because we have some wonderful leaders and mentors. Our youth volunteerism is up and it's up high."

The initiative aims to apply lessons children learn while volunteering to their local communities.