With much ambivalence, Genesee Community College announces that Jerry Kozlowski, associate vice president for Workforce Development, commonly known as The BEST Center (Business Employee Skills Training), has tendered his resignation. After Jan. 4, Jerry plans to spend more time with his family, and also continue his graduate school adjunct teaching responsibilities at Medaille College.
Under Kozlowski's management, The BEST Center has become a recognized regional leader in helping develop the skilled workforce that powers local economic growth. Seminars, workshops, and customized training programs are all designed to assist businesses improve the performance of their people and processes, and focus on long-term strategic success.
The BEST Center serves individual employees, large and small businesses, and seeks and secures federal, state and local grants. It offers multifaceted business development services through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where advisors provide free counseling to owners of start-ups and existing small businesses. The BEST Center has also partnered with five national professional online training programs with more than 450 high-quality courses for professional certification.
During Kozlowski's tenure, The BEST Center earned several distinctive awards including: the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce "Innovative Enterprise of the Year" and the American Association of Community Colleges "Community Economic Development Best Practices" Award.
Kozlowski began his tenure at Genesee Community College in 2000 as a faculty member in the business department. In 2002, he helped develop, found, and served as dean of The BEST Center, located in the newly built Conable Technology Building of the Batavia campus.
In 2004, Kozlowski assumed the managerial role of Genesee's network of campus centers, which included the construction and opening of the Lima location in October 2009. As dean of Genesee's six campus centers, he oversaw the delivery of academic programs in the four-county GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming) covering 2,400 square miles and a staff of more than 30 people. This responsibility accounted for approximately one-quarter of the college's total enrollment.
In 2010, Kozlowski was promoted to associate vice president of Workforce Development, recognizing a decade of tactical planning and outreach in the areas of developing workforce services and regional economic growth.
Kozlowski was the recipient of the prestigious State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2006. Additionally, Jerry is a member of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2004, and serves on the following boards: New York State Liaison for the American Association of Community Colleges; member-at-large, GLOW Workforce Investment Board; member, Genesee County Empire Zone Board; member, Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Economic Development Focus Group; and chairman the Board of Directors for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a former business columnist for The Daily News in Batavia.
With his wife, Lee, Jerry Kozlowski resides in Clarence Center. He is a former executive of Tops Markets, Inc., and a retired officer of the Air Force with 25 years of service as a commander, instructor, speechwriter and program manager.
"I approach this new era of my professional career with mixed emotions," Kozlowski said. "Having traveled around the world and visited all 50 states, this is the longest I've been in one place. I've never worked with a finer group of people all dedicated to getting the job done. From the chambers, to the IDAs, the various boards I have served on, and certainly my colleagues at Genesee College Community -- I will miss the many relationships I have developed throughout the GLOW region."
A professional search for Kozlowski's successor is ongoing and will be announced soon.