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Elmcrest is tackling the issue of youth unemployment (Your letters)

As seen on www.syracuse.com

To the Editor:

According to the federal government's most recent report, youth unemployment remains high — 11.5 percent of young people aged 16-24 could not find work. And the problem can grow even more severe when youth face additional obstacles.

For example, young people with disabilities are often put at a disadvantage when pursuing job opportunities, the National Council on Disability has found.

There is an important local effort underway to help tackle the issue. Elmcrest Children's Center, which serves children and families in the Syracuse region, created an employment initiative to help the young people it serves learn workforce skills and secure jobs.

Started in 2015, Elmcrest Employment Services takes a person-centered approach to job-readiness training and job placement to help children achieve personal and career goals. In the last 12 months, about 60 young people were employed through the program, and more than 100 gained valuable career skills through volunteer and work opportunities. It's an important step in the right direction.

As a solution to a lingering challenge, this program deserves the community's support. Since the initiative launched, M&T Bank has contributed $20,000 to help Elmcrest administer the program, and we encourage other local businesses and philanthropic organizations to join us in supporting Elmcrest in this fight against youth unemployment.

Allen J. Naples
Regional President, M&T Bank
"Elmcrest is taking an important step in the right direction."