Ag Labor Solutions in Cortland County

Did you know there are two organizations here in Cortland County that work to match employers with youth seeking work experience? Both Cortland Works Career Center and OCM Boces search for opportunities for youth in our communities; to give them career experience and steps to build their future. These opportunities are at no cost to the employer. (Youth are held to NY labor law restrictions)

OCM Boces has 12 programs that run throughout the school year including Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Culinary and Pastry Arts, Early Childhood Education, Graphic Design, Heavy Equipment Repair, Physical Therapy (including animal therapy), and Welding.

Most instructors search for community partnerships to create opportunities for their senior year students (16, 17, and 18-year-olds) to get real-world experience practicing their skills. Opportunities of all shapes and sizes are welcome, from 1-day to multi-week projects.

If you have a project and are curious if it might be suitable for an OCM Boces program contact:
Deborah Wood, Career and Technical Principal at OCM Boces, or
Becky Robertson, OCM Boces school counselor,

(OCM Boces covers insurance for their students and transportation may be covered).

Cortland Works Career Center (CWCC) has two grant-funded youth employment programs for income-eligible youth. "Worksites typically host youth for six weeks in the summer program, and up to 600 hours in the year-round program." These programs place 50 - 75 youth ages 14 - 24 on Cortland County-based worksites for 20 - 35 hours per week.

While there are eligibility requirements it can still be worthwhile for both the employer and the youth - the youth while gaining work experience, can free up valuable time for the employer to get to more 'skilled' tasks (i.e. the youth can pick berries, sweep, or be pitching hay while the employer is running the tractor or using some other powered equipment).

To learn more about these programs (and sign up for the summer program by June 3rd) contact:
Shannon Phillips, Employment and Training Director at (607)756-7585 ext 11

(CWCC does not offer transportation for the youth to get to the worksite location).

ACCES VR works with people with disabilities, in Cortland and the surrounding region, by supporting both youth and adults in navigating workforce opportunities. ACCES VR does this by identifying employment opportunities, supported employment, assisting with college and other training, and much more.

Employment opportunities may include supported employment (an on-the-job coach that will work with them while they need the additional assistance in training) this can be temporary or continued as needed. ACCES VR supports the initial intensive services then after 90 days, if still needed, another service organization continues the services.

ACCES VR does offer financial support for both youth and adult persons with disabilities. For youth, there are programs that offer a work stipend. With non-youth ACCES VR will cover the cost of the training period. Additionally, there are tax incentives that businesses may be interested in. Of course, insurance is still required as ACCES VR does not cover the cost of relevant insurance.

If you are interested in learning more contact Sharon Kaufman, at or (315)428-4172, to discuss your needs and how ACCES VR may be equipped to help you fill those needs

Last updated October 25, 2022