YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) –  In this edition of our In-Depth segment, WKBN Community Affairs Director Dee Crawford spoke with Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown Jim Byrd about the challenges the organization faces.

Byrd said the first is staffing. It’s a challenge every employer is having, but he praises the staff he has.

“Everybody is having that difficulty. I have a fantastic staff. They are wonderful from the bottom up, and we tell them that. When we can appreciate them more with either money or a bonus, we do that. The board of directors we have is very supportive,’ he said.

The second challenge is multi-faceted, Byrd said.

“One is with education. The systems and I am not talking about any particular system. It seems it fights against itself. It wants to educate the child but then it wants to teach to the test, and then our children are behind right now because of the pandemic,” he said.

Byrd said it’s an uphill battle. Getting to the state standards means money.

“That’s ridiculous,” he said.

The impact of the Boys and Girls Club is far-reaching and can last a lifetime.

“I’ll just quote the chief of police of Newark, New Jersey. He said several years ago, ‘I would trade five police officers for one Boys and Girls Club,'” Byrd said.