PATERSON, NJ - The PCWDC Youth Services Department is an invaluable resource for our clients in Passaic County. The goal of our Youth Department is to establish meaningful work experience for individuals between the ages of 16-24 and put them on a career path that is best tailored to their needs. 

"We serve roughly 250 eligible young people per year," said Sikandar Khan, a youth counselor. "Our mission is to provide the youth with life skill training, make sure that they accomplish their educational goals, help with career planning, and put them on a path to employment."

For many years, PCWDC has run a summer work experience program in which young people can get valuable on the job experience while also making $10 per hour. Youth are assigned to a job site that is both a close proximity to their homes and in a career field that fits their interest and skills.

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A mother whose son participated in the program wrote a letter explaining the impact that the program had on her son that said her son "completed a summer work program with the Passaic County Workforce. It was one of the most rewarding experiences for him."

"He came home every day, elated and proud of his accomplishments. This work experience gave him a sense of pride, usefulness, and accomplishment."

A number of young people have been hired after the program has ended to continue working at the sites. In addition to this incredibly successful program, the youth department has developed a pilot program that will take place year round. The program will begin with 10 students that participated in the summer program and will allow them to gain further work experience after school.

The Youth Department helps individuals who face barriers to their education and or employment. This could include income, disability or something in their personal life that may be an impediment to their success. With the help of the dedicated Youth Department staff, the youth that go through this program are on the path to success and engagement in the workforce.