Gov. Cuomo announces jobs, mental health services in NYC to combat youth violence

New York State

NEW YORK CITY (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo made an announcement on efforts against gun violence on Wednesday from a church in Brooklyn with elected officials, clergy and community leaders.

Just last week, the governor declared a disaster emergency on gun violence for the state of New York, a first-of-its-kind disaster emergency for the country.

“There’s no doubt, there’s multiple prongs but one of the most important strategies is to get young people before the fact, before they enter the pipeline of the system,” the governor said. “Because once their in the system that pipeline only leads to one place and we’ve seen it for too long for too many years with too many lost generations.”

“Once that first arrest, that first records happens, then you are on the slippery slope. How do you do that? There is no bill that I can sign that can do that. The only way you can do that is by community where you develop the network and the infrastructure in that community to provide those services, they know who is likely to get into trouble they know who is getting into trouble.”

Cuomo announced a partnership with with Consortium for Worker Education. CWE, the workforce development arm of the NYC Central Labor Council to provide new job training, training stipends, credentialing and placement in good-paying, long-term jobs for 2,400 young people who are out of school and live in the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence.

Gov. Cuomo said there are three main opportunity programs. The first, is employment. There will be a program dedicated to summer jobs for the youth ages 15 to 24. There will also be permanent jobs available. “These are not just minimum first teared jobs. These are trained jobs for tradesmen, carpenters, bakers, electricians.”

The second piece of the plan is community based services like mental health services, a family crisis center and more. The third piece is “violence interrupters.” The governor said more specifics will be laid out in a press release which will be distributed from this office this afternoon.

Priority for CWE programs will be given to those ages 18 to 24 who reside in New York City areas most impacted by high levels of gun violence. Priority will also be given to those referred from interrupters and other anti-gun violence advocacy groups and related referral organizations.

Targeted private sector employers and labor union apprenticeship programs on work-readiness training that will lead to employment based on industry specific standards. Industries and occupations will include:

  • Truck, Bus and Automobile Mechanical Repair and Maintenance
  • Commercial Drivers Licenses
  • Construction Management
  • Culinary, Baking and Food Service
  • Health Care
  • Building Trades Apprenticeships
  • IT Software and Support
  • Cyber Security
  • Building Services
  • Hospitality and Tourism

According to the governor, immediate efforts of the disaster emergency to quell the ongoing gun violence statewide will focus on the following seven key areas:

  1. Treat gun violence like the emergency public health issue it is
  2. Target hotspots with data and science
  3. Positive engagement for at-risk youth
  4. Break the cycle of escalating violence
  5. Get illegal guns off the streets
  6. Keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people
  7. Rebuild the police community relationship

According to officials from the governor’s office, this measure:

  • Officially declares gun violence as a disaster emergency
  • Requires Division of Criminal Justice Services to gather and share incident-level data from local police departments on gun violence
  • Creates an office of gun violence prevention to coordinate efforts and direct resources to emerging gun violence hotspots
  • Invests $138.7 million in intervention, prevent, and jobs programs to engage at-risk youth and get young people off the streets
  • Creates new state police gun trafficking interdiction unit to stop the flow of illegal guns into the state
  • Partners with John Jay College of Criminal Justice to strengthen police-community relations

The governor said the state’s plan to reduce gun violence includes both short and long term initiatives.

This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.

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