BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than $3 million in state money is coming to western New York as part of the Summer Youth Employment Program.

The program, which helps create job opportunities for disadvantaged youth, is administered by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

“The program introduces young people from low-income families into the labor market so they can develop useful skills that will help them improve school performance and become responsible adults,” the Office of Governor Kathy Hochul said.

Erie County is getting one of the largest sums of the more than $46 million being allocated. Here’s how much money each local county will receive:

  • Allegany – $188,995
  • Cattaraugus – $268,058
  • Chautauqua – $409,747
  • Erie – $2,093,125
  • Genesee – $116,649
  • Niagara – $464,512
  • Wyoming – $105,869

“The Summer Youth Employment Program administered by OTDA keeps kids busy, off the streets and away from their devices by providing them real work experience,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado“This program gives kids who might otherwise not have the opportunity the chance to develop real life skills that will stay with them for life. It is incumbent upon us as a state to ensure that all of our kids, regardless of where they live, the color of their skin or how they grew up, have the opportunity to improve their lives.”

The jobs are entry-level positions in places like parks, nursing homes, childcare organizations and community recreation centers.

To qualify for the program, a person must be between 14 and 20 years old and their household income must be below 200 percent of the federal poverty level or $46,060 for a family of three, Hochul’s office says.

More than 18,500 people were served by this program last year. Those interested in participating must contact their local department of social services.

“The impact that a positive workforce experience can have on youth cannot be overstated, especially for those young people coming from low-income households,” OTDA Commissioner Daniel Tietz said. “There is a growing body of research that examines the numerous and wide-ranging benefits of this program since low-income youth often face a challenging transition to living wage work and higher education. In addition to the income it provides, the Summer Youth Employment Program can help these youth to recognize the importance of educational achievement and ultimately expand their career aspirations.”

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.