Utica, NY (WIBX) - Although many were looking forward to receiving their first paychecks, teenagers attending the Oneida County Summer Youth Employment Program's Work Readiness Day were reminded of the bigger picture.
Nearly 225 kids were at Mohawk Valley Community College to hear speeches from Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, Oneida County Sheriff, Rob Maciol, and County Executive, Anthony Picente.

Those attending learned about  higher education and staying away from drugs.

Britney Valez, 14, is a participant in the program. She says the program teaches an important lesson.


"I think it teaches kids hard work, and that being lazy won't get you anywhere," Valez said. "Just for your hard work, you get paid. It's a good way to spend your summer, instead of sitting around at home."

Maciol agrees, saying it's important to get young teens thinking about their futures, while also promoting careers.

"It's just another opportunity for us to offer some positive foundational education information, and at the same time promote one of the finest law enforcement agencies in Oneida County," Maciol said.

Teenagers in the employment program work with local employers for about 60 hours during the summer. The program teaches kids the importance of hard work, while also building the foundation to higher education.

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