The Workforce Development Board’s Beginnings Program Gives Young Adults an Opportunity to Start Over

The Workforce Development Board’s (WDB) grant project “Beginnings” helps individuals with prior involvement in the justice system. The goal of the project is to help these individuals get into an education program and in the long-term, a career.

This project provides an array of services to all of its participants to help them reach their goals.

  • They can participate in substance abuse or mental health treatment programs.
  • There are instructors trained in cognitive behavioral intervention courses available to each participant.
  • There are funds available to help them pay for short term training programs.
  • They are also offered case management services, career exploration, and assistance with their employment search.

“Beginnings is a great opportunity for young adults that have had an encounter with the criminal justice system to start over,” says Project Director Alan Lam. “We work with them to find the right education program or job, and act as a support system to help them become contributing members of the local community.”

Alice Savino, executive director of the Workforce Development Board says, “Someone who has broken the law has one strike against them, if we can keep that person from having two strikes against them and if we can do that while the offender is still young and help he or she live a productive work life, we are changing their lives and we are improving the public safety climate of our community.”

This project will end September 30, 2021. Beginnings is for individuals 18-24 years old with involvement in the criminal justice system. In order to qualify, individuals must be residents of Oneida County. This program is 100% funded by a United States Department of Labor Reentry Employment Opportunities grant of $1,500,000.

Eligible individuals can apply by contacting Alan Lam at (315) 798-5908 or via e-mail