Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) hosted its second annual free food processing boot camp for 30 graduating Genesee County high school students, setting them up for high-wage-in-demand careers.
The three-day program featured industry experts educating students about the many job opportunities in the food processing industry. Participants received a “Cornell Food Processing Certificate,” which will give them an advantage when applying for jobs.
The food processing industry is Genesee County’s number-one employment field. Participating organizations included H.P. Hood, O-AT-KA Milk Products, Upstate Niagara, Yancey’s Fancy, and Nortera. After the success of the inaugural program last year, Genesee County has set a great example of what workforce development programs can do for a community.
“Genesee County offers hundreds of immediate job opportunities to well-trained, hard-working individuals, making it a blueprint for future educational programs,” said Dairy Foods Extension Program Director Kimberly Bukowski. “Thanks to the success of this initiative and funding provided by Governor Hochul’s new Office of Strategic Workforce Development, we intend to expand our workforce development program throughout the state.”
This is one of many successful programs Genesee County has hosted to prepare the next generation of workforce candidates for fulfilling careers in advanced manufacturing, agriculture, skilled trades, and more.
GCEDC VP of Business and Workforce Development Chris Suozzi said, “Genesee County has seen its workforce readiness investment pay off for years, as many businesses have relocated here because of our qualified candidates.” He added, “Leaders from local institutions such as the Workforce Development Institute, GCEDC, and Genesee Valley BOCES have been catalysts in preparing graduating seniors with the skills needed for industries in their backyard.”