ALBANY Governor David A. Paterson has announced state funding will be directed to state programs designed to provide jobs for teens this summer. In 2007, similar programs employed nearly 26,000 youths. For many participants, the program is their first exposure to the workforce. It is designed not only to help teenagers find a summer job, but also to instill skills and the work ethic necessary to advance as they prepare for life after high school. The 2008 Summer Youth Employment Program will distribute $35 million to 45 counties and New York City through the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Education does not end in the classroom. New York State needs to do everything it can to help create a strong and experienced workforce, said Governor Paterson. This program is helping thousands of young New Yorkers gain valuable work experience and skills to help prepare them for future employment in an increasingly competitive economy. It has the added benefit of putting sorely-needed payroll dollars into communities and businesses that need them the most. Eligible youths must be between the ages of 14 and 20 to qualify for the program. Participating families must be recipients of public assistance, or have a family income below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $35,200 for a family of three, as of June 1. Funding is available to support summer youth employment programs from May through September, but most programs operate during July and August. Funds can be used as payment to an employer or third party as a work subsidy for eligible youth, education and training, support services, counseling and employment related services, and transportation to and from work or training. Clinton County will be given $204,517 in awards and Essex county will receive $68,051.