926 jobs for Western New York; 631 for Rochester; 256 for Syracuse
√ State & community leaders from 3 areas have agreed on initiatives to respond to ongoing gun violence in identified cluster zones
√ Key initiatives include creating jobs and summer programs for at-risk youth; increasing presence of violence interveners in community; and expanding community services and assistance for mental health, substance abuse and family crisis
Following Thursday’s gun violence prevention community meetings in the Western New York, Syracuse and Rochester areas, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced 1,813 jobs will be available for at-risk youth across these three areas in the ZIP codes that make up each zone: 14701,14204, 14206, 14207, 14208, 14209, 14210, 14211, 14212, 14214, 14215, 14301, 14303, 14304 and 14305 in the Western New York area; 14605, 14606, 14608, 14609, 14611, 14613, 14615, 14619 and 14621 in the Rochester area; and 13202, 13203, 13204, 13205, 13207, 13210 and 13224 in the Syracuse area.
In Western New York, the state will provide funding to create 301 summer jobs for youth aged 15 to 24 in this zone to keep them employed until the start of school this year. The state is partnering with local workforce development boards to provide job training and placement into long-term jobs for 625 young people who are out of school and live in this zone (530 jobs for Buffalo, 45 for Jamestown and 50 for Niagara Falls).
“We remain committed to addressing the gun violence crisis with every tool at our disposal, and today's meetings in Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester allowed us to settle on plans for each of these areas to keep children in safe spaces and protect their most vulnerable residents," Cuomo said Thursday. "We are working with local leaders and experts to make sure these plans take into account the reality on the ground in every community, and we will continue to collaborate with the communities until we see the results that we want."
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "It is unacceptable what is happening to our children and our communities because of gun violence. We have to give people hope and let them know their lives have meaning, which starts with creating job opportunities for at-risk youth. I am optimistic just as we beat back this pandemic, that we can prevail over this pandemic of gun violence by working together with our local elected officials and community leaders."
Earlier this month, Cuomo kicked off a series of community meetings that will be held in emerging gun violence hot spots across the state, where state officials and community leaders can carve out initiatives to address the ongoing gun violence. The initiatives focus on engaging the most at-risk youth in cluster zones in employment and community activities, hiring new community-based gun violence interrupters, as well as assistance for mental health and substance use disorders.
Cuomo issued executive order No. 211 declaring gun violence a disaster emergency and requiring New York State's Division of Criminal Justice Services to compile incident-level data provided by major police departments on a weekly basis so that it may be used by the newly established Office of Gun Violence Prevention to track emerging gun violence hot spots and deploy resources to areas most in need.
In the meetings for the Western New York, Rochester and Syracuse areas, specific steps to combat gun violence included:
√ Creating 961 jobs for Western New York, 631 jobs for Rochester, and 256 jobs for Syracuse;
√ Establishing summer programs for youth, including: more than 50 activities at Buffalo Harbor, Niagara Falls and other state parks across Western New York; more than 175 activities at Letchworth, Hamlin and other state parks across the Finger Lakes area; and more than 140 activities at Green Lakes and other state parks across Central New York;
√ Hiring new violence interveners to work at existing community intervention programs; and
√ Expanding community services and assistance for mental health support, substance abuse treatment and family crisis intervention.
A press release noted, “On July 6, Cuomo declared the first-in-the-nation gun violence disaster emergency as part of a new, comprehensive strategy to build a safer New York. This new strategy treats gun violence as a public health crisis, using short-term solutions to manage the immediate gun violence crisis and reduce the shooting rate, as well as long-term solutions that focus on community-based intervention and prevention strategies to break the cycle of violence. The disaster emergency allows the state to expedite money and resources to communities so they can begin targeting gun violence immediately.”