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OC UW-Extension's Benefits Presented To Supervisors

More than a year ago, UW-Extension began a statewide reorganization that will likely change how services are offered in all of the state's 72 counties.

Last week, County U-W Extension leader Lynn Feldman detailed to the Oneida county board the many areas the local staff is involved with throughout the county...

"...for 2016, unduplicated people served, 5,548....teaching lessons, 338. Our volunteer network is huge, so we have 107 active volunteers...."

Feldman says volunteers are a lifeblood to the communities, as they provide the work beyond what the staff can provide. Feldman says the volunteer hours in 2016 provided are more than $100,000 in value to the county. Each staff person administers several programs that Feldman says help make stronger economies and families.

Supervisor Alan Van Raalte said Teen Court, administered by Extension, is a cost saver. The court is a group of teens who hear minor offense cases by young people and meter out how the offender can make good. 380 teens have had their cases heard this way since 2009..

"....even if the entire cost of UW-Extension was taken into account, that's only $6,250 per youth. Even in the cold calculus of economics, it's a cost effective program considering the cost of out-of-county placements is between $8,000 and $11,000 per month or between 96(thousand) and 132(thousand) per year, per youth..."

The board also has had a Teens Active in Government program, where students sit in on county board meetings and Rhinelander city council committee meetings. Feldman detailed a map showing dozens of community partners across Oneida county.

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