Lewis County youth coalition adding positions to bolster prevention efforts

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LOWVILLE — Armed with new federal grant funding, a Lewis County youth coalition plans to soon add a pair of employees to help bolster alcohol- and drug-prevention efforts here.

“It’s going to benefit the whole county,” said Cathie J. Wooledge, chairwoman of the Youth Empowerment and Health, or YEAH! Coalition. “They’re going to be dedicated just to that.”

The coalition was recently awarded $125,000 per year for the next five years through a federal Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant, and plans are to use the funding to hire a full-time project coordinator and part-time project assistant.

The new employees will be hired through Mountain View Prevention Services but work for the coalition, which consists of representatives from various local agencies and organizations.

“The goal is to have communities become healthier,” said John C. Waterhouse, interim executive director at Mountain View.

The coordinator position requires at least a bachelor’s degree and is a 35-hour-per-week position with an annual salary range of $35,000 to $42,000, based on training and professional work experience in the target population.

The job will require excellent communication and organizational skills, ability to travel locally and to out-of-state Drug-Free Communities training sessions and conferences, be a team leader and “build capacity with the grant partner agencies,” according to a job description.

The assistant is to work 8½ hours per week for $7,500 per year, assisting the coordinator and covering the office when needed.

Anyone interested in either post may send a cover letter and resume by Oct. 20 to Executive Director, Mountain View Prevention Services, 7714 Number Three Road, Lowville, N.Y. 13367. Attn: DFC Interview Committee.

“We will want to have a cross-section of the county on the selection committee,” Mr. Waterhouse said.

Korin A. Scheible, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Jefferson County, next week will take on permanent directorship at Mountain View, so the new hires will likely work closely with her, he said.

They will not only coordinate anti-drug prevention outreach efforts but also keep records of their activities and conduct surveys to show that their efforts are working, said Mrs. Wooledge, who works for the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living. While Mountain View and other local agencies have been doing a good job of educating local young people about the dangers of negative behaviors, having someone dedicated to that effort should prove extremely helpful.

Mr. Waterhouse said the grant program is “science driven” and may be renewable after five years, although the ultimate goal is to make it self-sufficient in each community.

He credited former Mountain View Executive Director Arlene S. Hall, who resigned in June after nearly a decade with the non-profit agency, with doing most of the work to secure the federal funding.

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