2013 Summer Youth Employment Program Overview
Two weeks ago marked the 4th successful conclusion of the Summer Youth Employment Program, a 6-week program run by VINES in which 10 Binghamton youth are hired to continue ongoing development of the Urban Farm and community gardens. Additionally, we employed two Market Garden Assistants, also youth, who work through the entire growing season and who function as leaders during the youth program. Funding was provided by the City of Binghamton’s Green Jobs Grant, which comes from Community Development Block Grant funds.
All of our goals for this summer were accomplished thanks to the help of this year’s crew. They utilized the expansions made on the Urban Farm by last year’s program and increased additional growing space both outside and in the greenhouse. They assisted in the design and construction of a community greenspace on Susquehanna st, a new community orchard on Liberty st, and provided maintenance of several community garden sites. The youth also participated in all the stages of growing and harvesting food on the Urban Farm, learning valuable lessons about where food comes from.
Although urban agriculture was the focus of tasks performed during the youth employment, the incorporation of education and general job skills is integral to the success of the program. This is accomplished by partnering with several local organizations to provide workshops about job professionalism, interviews, and nutrition education, in addition to workshops about composting, rural farming, and livestock. As has been done in previous years, youth learn about how to safely prepare and cook fresh vegetables harvested from the Urban Farm.
Overall, the participants this year were a highly motivated and hard-working group. We couldn’t have accomplished all our goals without them, and are glad that they’ve reached some of their personal goals through their employment as well!
If you missed applying for this year’s program, stay tuned next year for job opportunities as a youth crew member!
Youth employees will farm land in downtown Binghamton, participate in workshops about the food system and nutrition, and help promote the Urban Farm in the community.
Eligible applicants must: be between 15 and 18, be available to work the entire 6-week summer program, be residents of the city of Binghamton, have an interest in working at the Binghamton Urban Farm, and be able and willing to do strenuous work outdoors in all weather conditions (heat, rain, bugs, etc). Dates and more information TBA.
Have any questions about the application or the program?
Contact us at 205-8108 or email email@example.com.
VINES 2nd Summer Youth Employment Program at the Urban Farm a Big Success!
Our 2011 Summer Youth Employment Program employed 12 Binghamton youth, while teaching them valuable job skills and providing essential assistance in continuing to develop the Urban Farm. The program was funded through the City of Binghamton’s Green Jobs Grant, which comes from Community Development Block Grant funds. The program benefited greatly from a partnership with Broome County Gang Prevention (BCGP).
The program expanded upon last year’s achievements, incorporating many of the same successful activities and projects. As in 2010, youth learned about the process of growing and selling produce from start to finish. They also cooked with produce grown at the farm, prepared a meal which was shared with BCGP’s Growing Connection program, Mayor Matt Ryan, and several residents at the Binghamton Housing Authority. Youth employees met local farmers and learned about our food system and the importance of supporting local farms.
This year’s program also included some new components based on our research on other successful urban agriculture youth programs. We employed two of the youth as crew leaders, giving them an additional level of responsibility and an opportunity to gain more leadership skills and training. We also incorporated a feedback component called Straight Talk, which gave youth a chance to learn about their strengths and opportunities for improvement, increase their self knowledge and communication skills, and improve their ability to give and receive feedback. The program this year also incorporated more job and life skills training – all youth finished the program with a completed resume to use in future job searches and also learned some of the basics of interviewing for a job, opening a bank account, and money management.
Many thanks to the wonderful group of youth participants that worked on the farm this summer. We shared a lot with them, learned a lot from them, and we hope many of them will come back to work with us again next summer!