We owe many thanks for our relationship with the Middlesex County Youth Corps. Recently, staff and members of the Youth Corps have assisted the Anshe Emeth Community Development Corporation (AECDC) by performing numerous routine and special tasks essential to our operation, freeing up AECDC staff time and saving funds that can then be used to purchase diapers, car seats, medical equipment, etc. for our clients.
The Youth Corps is sponsored by the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development as well as the New Brunswick Board of Education/Adult Learning Center. This program provides education and work experience for youth, ages 16 to 21 who, for whatever reason, have dropped out of high school. For a three month period, the members attend classes and go to various work sites to assist nonprofit organizations with their tasks.
The AECDC has been selected as one of these sites and, for the past year, we have benefited from their help. The students, under the supervision of their crew leader, staff member, David Perez, have spent 600 hours performing such tasks as cleaning the inside AECDC area, keeping track of our inventory of infant supplies and medical equipment, organizing our warehouse and delivering supplies to clients. Their work has saved the AECDC $6,000 in administrative and overhead expenses, enabling us to use these funds to directly serve our clients. They have also solicited donations for us from other agencies and individuals. The Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple has also benefited from their services as they have mowed our lawn and beautified the area around the building.
The Youth Corps program consists of a two week pre-corps period during which the youth are assessed by staff for their strengths and weaknesses and counseled regarding appropriate personal and job behavior. If they are deemed acceptable to the program, they begin their 12 week session. On the job sites, they are supervised by staff at all times and can be terminated at any time if they are not considered to be suitable. They receive income for their work. At the end of their stint, they are tested and, if they pass, they receive a high school certificate (formerly called a graduate equivalency diploma). The goal is for the members to graduate, as a high school diploma is mandatory for most employment today, including military service.
Other agencies that have been receiving their assistance include The Salvation Army, The Puerto Rican Action Board and the Suydam Street Church. A recent grant from the NJ Department of Transportation has enabled the Youth Corps to work on beautification of local areas.
After their term of service, a number of the Youth Corps have volunteered to assist the AECDC on their own.
We are extremely grateful to the Youth Corps which has been a great asset to our organization at no cost to us.