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Electro-Mechanical program at BOCES celebrates 100 graduates

By Press Release
Students at the Electro-Mechanical Trades program at the Batavia Career & Technical Education Center were celebrated Friday as the program has already reached 100 graduates in just four years.
Submitted photo.

Press Release:

As he entered his first class at the Electro-Mechanical Trades program at the Batavia Career & Technical Education Center, Tommy Condidorio did not anticipate the depth of the education he would receive.

“I was expecting to learn wiring, but instead we learned wiring, robotics, pneumatics, mechanical drives,” Condidorio said of the career-ready coursework instructor Rich Monroe teaches. “I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I was going to learn.”

As his final classes near, Condidorio’s experiences in the Genesee Valley BOCES program have shown him a path forward. He and classmate Joseph Costa have been offered positions as electro-mechanical assemblers at Gorbel in Monroe County, where they have completed extensive co-ops this spring.

“I never thought I’d come out of BOCES with a job,” Condidorio said. Students like Condidorio and Costa in a fast-growing high school mechatronics program were celebrated Friday by educational, business, and training partners to mark a milestone for a training pathway supporting the growth of skilled trades and manufacturing in Genesee County and surrounding communities. 

The Electro-Mechanical Trades program at the Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Career & Technical Education Center, now in its 4th year, has connected over 100 students to college and career pathways that include direct employment and apprenticeships in the skilled trades and manufacturing.

Instructor Rich Monroe told his electro-mechanical trades students that his current students shared the honor. 

“They’re all a part of it, and they’ve all been part of the success of this program,” Monroe said. “I am, very proud of all of them that have stood the test and have done what they've needed to do to be successful in this program.”

Students are trained in a state-of-the-art mechatronics lab and participate in youth apprenticeships and paid internships completed during students’ junior and senior years at employers.

"The success of the mechatronics program at Genesee Valley BOCES shows why Genesee County and our region are attracting major expansions and new companies," said Chris Suozzi, Vice President of Business & Workforce Development at the GCEDC. "These students are well trained and ready to jump directly into a career in manufacturing or the skilled trades, an apprenticeship, or additional training, and our employers are gaining a next-generation workforce to grow their operations."

In her first year in the electro-mechanical trades program, Emma Spink, a junior from Attica, completed job shadows at Koike in Wyoming County and Nortera in Genesee County.

“I saw all the different jobs that electricians could have in one building, which is very neat. This trade can take you multiple routes,” said Spink, who can progress to a more extensive co-op with a local company in her senior year with the goal of joining an apprenticeship program with an employer while also getting college credits.

“I’m really excited about this co-op opportunity,” Spink said. “I get to go to a company and they’re really excited and willing to have you, and then they actually pay you for your time there and you get to learn all about it and do electrical work for them.”

Friday’s program closed out a week of events marking National Youth Apprenticeship Week. The job shadows and co-ops Monroe’s students participate in are part of the successful Rochester Technology & Manufacturing Association (RTMA) Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program (FLYAP). The program was created in 2018 and is the first youth apprenticeship program for students interested in manufacturing in New York State.

RTMA Director of Workforce Development Rich Turner praised the Genesee Valley BOCES program as the most active youth apprenticeship program in the region. 

“For a program to have 100 graduates in four years is a huge success,” Turner said. “It’s because of the culture that’s been built here by Mr. Monroe, Chris Suozzi and his team at the GCEDC, the partner businesses … and you, the students.”

For Costa, the FLYAP-sponsored co-op has been part of a busy calendar. He is competing in track and tennis, completing his coursework at LeRoy High School, and splitting his BOCES classes between Monroe’s classroom and Gorbel. He is excited to have a career lined up without college debt.

“It’s perfect, because I’m getting paid for it and I’m coming in with experience that I’ve already gained through BOCES,” Costa said. “It helps me a ton … they don’t have to explain every little thing to me, and the learning experience just goes so much faster.” 

'First-round draft picks' celebrated on signing day for apprenticeships at local companies

By Steve Ognibene
Students from all over the Genesee Region in attendance of signing day.  Photo by Steve Ognibene.
Students from all over the Genesee Region in attendance of signing day Tuesday.
Photo by Steve Ognibene

The students matched with apprenticeship programs from local companies are all "first-round draft picks," said Chris Souzzi, VP of business and workforce development for the Genesee County Economic Development Center, on Tuesday at a signing celebration.

The event was held at the Best Center on the campus of Genesee Community College to celebrate high school juniors and seniors participating in the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeships Program.

The participants are first-round picks, Souzzi said, "because they really are great prospects for our future."

Juniors in the program engage in job shadows, and seniors are eligible for paid co-op apprenticeships with participating companies.

Matches were announced Tuesday for more than 30 students and 10 companies from the region.

“The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program is proud to connect students from the Batavia BOCES’ electro-mechanical and metal trades programs to advanced manufacturing companies for paid co-ops and job shadows,” said Rich Turner, RTMA Director of Workforce Development. “Through FLYAP, high school juniors and seniors are receiving real on-the-job experience paired with state-of-the-art classroom training which prepares them for in-demand careers in advanced manufacturing.”

The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program was created in 2018 by the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA) in partnership with Monroe Community College (MCC). The program is the first of its kind in New York State and is supported by the RTMA, MCC, RG&E Foundation and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. The Genesee County Economic Development Center is also a FLYAP Gold Sponsor and assists the program with business recruitment.

In its fifth school year, FLYAP has connected more than 650 students to nearly 150 businesses throughout the greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region.  FLYAP students have also received credit for more than 500 college classes at no cost to them, their schools or their families.

To view or purchase photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

Emma Spink of Attica  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Emma Spink of Attica.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Easton Willis of Oakfield Alabama with Oxbo representative.  Photo by Steve Ognibene
Notre Dame
Brody Warner of Notre-Dame Batavia with representative Gorbel.   Photo by Steve Ognibene
Brody Warner of Notre Dame Batavia with Gorbel representative.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Jaxson Delpriore of LeRoy with McCabe Electric representative   Photo by Steve Ognibene
Jaxson Delpriore of LeRoy with McCabe Electric representative.
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Hayman Hendrik to be signed for Protech   Photo by Steve Ognibene
Hayman Hendrik to be signed for Protech. 
Photo by Steve Ognibene
Representatives from various job placement sites in Genesee County   Photo by Steve Ognibene
Representatives from various job placement sites in Genesee County.   
Photo by Steve Ognibene

Job fair focused on trades give seniors a chance to talk with employers, learn more about careers

By Howard B. Owens
boces job fair

Getting time to meet and talk with the people who hire workers at local companies is a valuable experience for soon-to-graduate seniors, said Chris Suozzi, VP of business development at the Genesee County Economic Development Center.

Suozzi and Karyn Winters, director of the Genesee County Business/Education Alliance, put together a job fair for graduating seniors from the region and local businesses at BOCES on Friday.

 The job fair was open to both BOCES seniors and non-BOCES students.

"We're excited that the companies are here, meeting, and trying to recruit the seniors who are going to be graduating here shortly," Suozzi said. "As we all know, everybody needs workforce."

The event is a chance for high school students to practice interview skills as well as learn about employment opportunities in Genesee County.

"A lot of them, as you know, may not have a job yet," Suozzi said. "They don't even have a part-time job. So they use so soft skills today, where their eye to eye with a company."

Photos by Howard Owens.

boces job fair
boces job fair
boces job fair
boces job fair
boces job fair

Record-setting class graduates from 2023 BOCES pre-apprenticeship program

By Press Release
boces pre apprentice program graduation
In a reception line of staff and officials who were part of the program this year, Darlene M. Robare-Kessler is congratulated by Chris Suozzi, VP of business development for GCEDC.
Photo by Howard Owens.

Press release:

Ten participants from the third annual Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program graduated from this year’s six-week paid training program. The “boot camp” style program is an earn-while-you-learn model which pairs in-class instruction at the Genesee Valley BOCES in Batavia and on-the-job training at several local advanced manufacturing companies. 

The Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program was created in 2021 to assist companies in the greater Rochester and GLOW Region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties) with recruitment and training for one of the region’s largest industries. Participants graduated from the program with 96 hours of state-of-the-art mechatronics training and more than 100 hours of on-the-job experience at advanced manufacturing at companies in Genesee, Livingston and Monroe counties. 

“This program continues to train workers of all ages, skill levels and abilities for a wide array of high-demand careers in advanced manufacturing,” said Bob Coyne, Executive Director of the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA). “The ‘Genesee Valley Boot Camp’ is an incredible partnership between industry, academia and workforce development partners in our community.”

The Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program includes hands-on simulation training for a variety of available careers; including electromechanical trades, construction materials manufacturing, agricultural manufacturing and more. In addition to the classroom time, participants received paid, on-the-job training and a fast-track opportunity for a full-time career with local manufacturing companies.

“Enabling students to acquire hands-on skills training without incurring any costs, the Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program stands as a pivotal workforce enhancement,” remarked Jon Sanfratello, Director of the Instructional Program at Genesee Valley BOCES. “This remarkable training initiative forges a career pathway that effectively addresses workforce employment demands. Such practical skills development serves as a shining illustration of our dedication to aiding GLOW regional students and current employees while also meeting the precise needs of our local business community.” 

"The BEST Center at Genesee Community College remains grateful for the funding provided by SUNY DOL and its Reimagine Workforce Preparation Training Program that provides resources for high-demand training for industry-recognized credentials like the Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program", said Jennifer Wakefield, Executive Director of Workforce Development, "We look forward to continued collaboration in this program to expand opportunities for increased pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training." 

Training was provided at no cost to the students and companies due to grants secured by Genesee Community College’s BEST Center, Genesee Economic Development Center and the Workforce Development Institute.

Participating employers for the 2023 program include Oxbo, United States Gypsum, Triton Mechanical, Goforth Electric, Diamond Packaging, Arctic Refrigeration, Maris Systems Design and more.

“This year’s Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program offered students a unique opportunity to discover their career path and their future without the burden of college debt. Thanks to our participating employers, students have been introduced and empowered to succeed in these in-demand careers through instruction and on-the-job training,” said Chris Suozzi, Vice President of Business and Workforce Development, Genesee County Economic Development Center.

boces pre apprentice program graduation
Ethan Appis with Richard Turner.
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Ben Bishop
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Bradley Burdett
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Kaytlin Day
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Alexander Matthews
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Trejan Mills
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Xavier Mitchell
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Wyatt Parker
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Darlene M. Robare-Kessler
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
Kyle Stefan
Photo by Howard Owens.
boces pre apprentice program graduation
The 2023 Graduating Class
Photo by Howard Owens.

Pre-apprenticeship program at BOCES paid on-the-job training and instruction

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program students, from left, Kyle Stefan, Alex Matthews and Trejan Mills run a training module mechatronics equipment during a morning instruction session during the six-week program in Batavia.

Press Release:

After a meeting with an advisor at Genesee Community College, Kyle Stefan entered the Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program with an open mind.

Stefan, a Pavilion High School graduate, believed he made the right decision to join the Batavia-based workforce program well before the six weeks of paid on-the-job training and instruction were complete.

“I would have never found my passion for a career in HVAC if it wasn’t for the pre-apprenticeship program,” said Stefan, one of ten students graduating on Aug. 24. “There’s no way to know if there is something you like to do without trying. I am able to apply what I learn in a classroom setting to my work at Arctic Refrigeration and find out this is a career I would like to pursue.”

For the third consecutive year, the Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program has welcomed students from diverse backgrounds, levels of education, and career experiences with an opportunity to jump-start successful careers.

During the program, participants attend morning classes in the Genesee Valley BOCES classroom, training with $700,000 of mechatronics equipment funded in part by a Genesee County Economic Development Center grant. In the afternoons, and for a full day on Fridays, students apply the lessons they learn at employers in Genesee, Livingston, and Monroe counties.

“I really enjoyed the freedom to use the equipment and materials to build things and you learn and go at your own pace,” said participant Bradley Burdett. “I would recommend this program to anyone because there are a lot of opportunities. It’s beyond just a classroom education as we are learning and experiencing life lessons.”

Burdett, an Attica High School graduate, enrolled in the program on the recommendation of program instructor Rich Monroe after teaching Bradley for two years at BOCES. With student participation at Genesee Valley BOCES increasing since the launch of GLOW with Your Hands in 2019, Genesee County Economic Development Center Vice President of Business and Workforce Development Chris Suozzi sees the program as the next step in empowering students to take the future into their own hands. 

“The pre-apprenticeship program offers a unique opportunity for students to discover their career path without the burden of college debt,” said Suozzi. “The jobs this program introduces students to provides them with a promising opportunity to enter into the workforce in the in-demand careers in our region.”

The Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program has grown annually since its inception in 2021. This year’s students joined pre-apprenticeship tracks at USG, Arctic Refrigeration, Turnbull Heating and Refrigeration, Radec Electric, Go Forth Electric, and OXBO. 

The program and experience with Radec Electric have supported a career change for Darlene Robare-Kessler of Fairport. Robare-Kessler said she appreciates the safe learning environment and mix of classroom and real job experience.

“I love the hands-on aspects of working with manufacturing equipment and the program has helped align my experience in the food and beverage industry giving me another side of the manufacturing industry to explore,” said Robare-Kessler. “(The program) is empowering me to gain practical skills that I will be able to utilize within the workplace and hopefully throughout my career.”

Submitted photo of Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program students, from left, Darlene Robare-Kessler and Katlyn Day run a training module on mechatronics equipment during a morning instruction session during the six-week program in Batavia.

Culinary arts students impress at annual Celebrate Ag Dinner

By Press Release
boces culinary arts ag dinner
Chef Tracy Burgio, left, and some of the Culinary Arts students who prepared and served the meal at the Celebrating Ag Dinner in Alexander on Thursday.
Photo by Howard Owens. 

Press Release:

The Annual Celebrate Agriculture Dinner took place on March 25, at the Alexander Fire Hall. This event is held every year to celebrate Genesee County's leading industry, agriculture. The highlight of the evening was a delicious meal featuring locally produced foods prepared by the Culinary Arts Students from the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center. 

The collaboration between the Chamber's Agricultural Committee and the Culinary Arts Program, led by Chef Tracy Burgio and Denise Kaus, was a success. The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce approached Chef Tracy Burgio to cater the dinner, knowing that it would be a culinary challenge eagerly embraced by her students she happily accepted. The dinner was open to the public.

The Celebrate Ag Dinner is organized by various partners, including the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Genesee County Farm Bureau. Local farms and businesses donated food grown in the county for the dinner. Chef Burgio, along with the Culinary Arts students, worked together to plan and practice the menu, which featured food products sourced from Genesee County farmers.

"Seeing the students flawlessly produce the meal, with as many attendees that were present was incredible. The operation was not only impressive, the meal was absolutely delicious and highly memorable.  We are thankful for Chef Tracy and Denise, as well as all of our local partners that made the event possible.  Without their support and the food donations, this event could not happen.  A well done collaborative effort for those in our Agricultural community, leaders in education, and students in the culinary arts,” said Genesee County Chamber of Commerce President Brian Cousins.

On June 1, representatives from the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will visit the Batavia CTE Center to meet with the Culinary Arts students, Chef Burgio, and Kaus. During the visit, they will present a check to the Culinary Art Club as a token of appreciation.

BOCES congratulates 2023 digital arts award recipients

By Press Release
Even Vetter, Caden Montesano and Keaton Griffiths, whose stop-motion video, “The Booner’s Solve,” won first place in the video grades four through six category in the 2023 Digies, pose for a photo with classroom teacher Ian Smith and Art Teacher Nicole Rowley from Avon Central at the Digies awards ceremony at Genesee Community College in May.
Submitted Photo.

Press Release:

The Digies, a yearly conference and festival organized by the School Library Service, which is part of Genesee Valley BOCES, aims to enhance the connection between digital media across various educational levels, from Pre-K-12 schools to higher education and professional institutions. The Digies showcases the talent and potential of students through an annual festival, attracting entries from the region.

Congratulations to these creative students!

Student Name(s)/Project Title/School District

Audio - PreK-3

  • 1st - Ares Kohlerman/The Pika Podcast/Geneseo CSD

Audio - 7-9

  • 1st - Megan Kinney, Tori Halpin/Concerned about Political Polarization?/Avon CSD
  • 2nd Aydan VanDekken, Elisha Swift, Panagiotis Kolokouris, Nick Fries, Ryan Diddio/US Citizenship: Rights and Responsibilities Podcast/Avon CSD

Audio - 10-12

  • 1st - Gadge Savastano/Feilde/Mount Morris CSD
  • 2nd - Matthew Domzalski/Island Breeze/Orchard Park CSD
  • 3rd - Earl Kipler III/Evolution/Orchard Park CSD

Interactive PreK - 3

  • 1st - Jace Jordan, Scott Solis Berger/Dogman the Video Game/Letchworth CSD
  • 2nd - Donnie Anderson, Layla Bailey, Amelia Braley, Norah Chesnes, Cash Coyne, Arianna Crotser, McKenzie Cullinan, Andrew DeCarlo, Connor Freeman, AJ Heeres, Anthony James, Remington Knapp, Desire Maynard, Olivia Miller, Addie Nardi, Westley Paganin, Gracelyn Potter, Coltin Ranalli, Chole Ventura, Zack Walworth/Habitats and Animal Adaptations/Avon CSD
  • 3rd - Brooklyn Bannister, Bailey Granger, Briea Moore, Emah Powers, Ariana Sardina, Abby Stephens, Kendall Tucci, Lincoln Bowes, Maxon Logsdon, Grant Mead, Zack Moon, Jase Osterman/Monster Story Writing/Pavilion CSD

Interactive 4-6

  • 1st - Teagan Heeb/One Wild Space Adventure/Letchworth CSD
  • 2nd - Owen Lugo/Road Dodger video game/Alexander CSD
  • 3rd - Maria Kipphut/Meow Machine/Livonia CSD

Interactive 7-9

  • 1st - Alexander Haywood/Masked (Demo)/Town of Webb UFSD
  • 2nd - Ayden Midkiff/Steam Tractor/Pembroke CSD
  • 3rd - Brenna-Lynn Marleau/Jupiter's Quest/Town of Webb UFSD

Interactive 10-12

  • 1st - Mya Button, Wes Morrell, Morgan Moses, Kyle Worden/Student Media Arts Collective/Wayland-Cohocton CSD
  • 2nd - Karli Hy/Photo Web Portfolio/Geneseo CSD
  • 3rd - Christopher Doody, Evelyn Northrup, Kylie Conway, Liam Campbell, Keean Cummins, Lauren Kingsley, Karley Zinkievich/Pavilion Gopher Pride Instagram/Pavilion CSD

Graphic Arts - PreK - 3

  • 1st - Layla Price/Layla Price Self Portrait/Avon CSD
  • 2nd - Rayna Marciniak/Rayna Marciniak Self Portrait/Avon CSD
  • 3rd - Wyatt Vetter/Wyatt Vetter's playground/Avon CSD
  • 3rd - Ashley Dechau/Ashley Dechau's Playground/Avon CSD

Graphic Arts 4-6

  • 1st - Alice Szustakowski/STEAM Award/Alexander CSD
  • 2nd - Christy Succes/Aurora Shadows/Livonia CSD
  • 3rd - Andrew Klancer/Emoji Art/Pavilion CSD

Graphic Arts 7-9

  • 1st - Isabella Ehrman/Self Portrait/Southwestern CSD
  • 2nd - Bennett Antonucci/Andy Warhol style Self Portrait/Geneseo CSD
  • 2nd - Olivia Mower/Portrait of Ellie from the Last of Us/Alexander CSD
  • 3rd - Madeline Ingraham/Rush-Henrietta District Calendar Cover/Rush-Henrietta CSD

Graphic Arts 10-12

  • 1st - Skylar Wilson/Hands With Water/Pittsford CSD
  • 2nd - Molly Chittenden/Fleeting Time/Pembroke CSD
  • 3rd - Lukas Ladd/Enduring Issues/Alexander CSD

Video PreK - 3

  • 1st - Annie Tuttle/Dog Stuffy Commercial/Geneseo CSD
  • 2nd - Paisley Emerson-Kunes/Polar Bears/Livonia CSD
  • 3rd - Nathan Sedore, Henni Baughman/Fiestas Patrias in Chile/Livonia CSD

Video 4-6

  • 1st - Caden Montesano, Evan Vetter, Keaton Griffiths/The Booner's Solve/Avon CSD
  • 2nd - Gracie Stroud, Gianna Zidanich, Emelia Honan/Santa's Delivery/Avon CSD
  • 3rd - Noah Wheeler, Ethan Heeres, Dylan Jimenez-Rodriguez/The Corn Escape/Avon CSD

Video 7-9

  • 1st - Ari Arnold/How to Build a Fire (featuring Harry and Ron)/Avon CSD
  • 2nd - Benedict Lickona, Noah Lantz, Albert James Parker, Daniel Aforismo, Hayden/Long Break and Build/Rush-Henrietta CSD
  • 3rd - Keith Giardina/Animated Cart Wheel/Rush-Henrietta CSD

Video 10-12

  • 1st - Adriana Ochoa/Fetch/Pittsford CSD
  • 2nd - Charlie Ritter/Dots/Pittsford CSD
  • 3rd - Ethan Taft/Rotoscope GIF/Dansville CSD
First place - Layla Price Self Portrait

BOCES unveils new nursing lab

By Press Release

Press release:

The brand new nursing lab at Genesee Valley BOCES Adult Education program is designed to provide students with a realistic hospital environment where they can practice and enhance their nursing skills. The lab has various types of high, mid, and low-level simulation mannequins.  Each sim has different features and functions that can be controlled by an iPad. For example, high-fidelity mannequins can blink, breathe, have bowel sounds, and produce various heart sounds, providing students with a realistic experience of caring for a real patient.

The sims lab allows students to practice a head-to-toe patient assessment as well as emergent situations that can occur during a shift.  The updated lab helps them to prepare for their clinical rotation experiences, which in turn prepares them for the workforce. The lab features large patient screen monitors that give the students a look at their patients' vital statistics, and it sets off an alarm showing abnormal readings, which tells students they need to react.  

The lab also has a special simulator called a "mom stimulator," which can simulate the process of childbirth and postpartum complications such as hemorrhaging. This simulator can be operated manually or through an automated system, providing students with a comprehensive learning experience. There are a lot of things students don’t get to experience in their clinical rotations but are now able to simulate in this new lab. 

In addition to these simulation mannequins, the lab has new equipment, such as IV machines and feeding pumps, to give students a more comprehensive understanding of working with medical equipment.  Students have the chance to practice their skills on mannequins which helps prepare them for a job in the medical field. The nursing lab is set up for students to practice different procedures, such as practicing straight catheterization, wound care, and practicing medication administration. 

Overall, the nursing lab provides students with a safe and realistic environment to learn and practice their nursing skills. With the help of this lab and experienced instructors, students can gain valuable hands-on experience that will prepare them for the challenges of working as licensed practical nurses.

The Genesee Valley BOCES LPN program is a 1200-clock-hour program, certified by the New York State Education Department, and is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Graduates of the program receive a certificate of completion of licensed practical nursing. The LPN Program has a 90 percent passing rate for the NCLEX exam.   

Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program holds annual 'Signing Day'

By Press Release


Press release:

The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program (FLYAP) held its annual “Signing Day” ceremony at the Genesee Community College’s BEST Center on Thursday, March 9, 2023. Nearly 40 students from the Batavia Campus of the Genesee Valley BOCES signed up for job shadows and paid co-ops at a dozen advanced manufacturing companies in the region.

“Students from the Genesee Valley BOCES in Batavia are already receiving some of the best career and technical education training in the classroom which is preparing them for the 21st-century workforce,” said Rich Turner, RTMA Director of Workforce Development. “The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Programs compliments these students’ classroom training by connecting seniors and juniors to a one-of-a-kind job shadow or paid co-op at manufacturing companies across the region.”

The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program was created in 2018 and is the first youth apprenticeship program for students interested in manufacturing in New York State. FLYAP partners with every BOCES and Career and Technical Education high school throughout the greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region.

“We are so very proud that through Genesee Valley BOCES and our relationships with amazing business partners, students receive experiences that will lead them into successful careers,” added GV BOCES Batavia Campus Executive Principal Rachel Slobert. “Whether it is a job shadow or paid internship, these opportunities allow students to get real-world experience prior to graduation.”

FLYAP is a program of the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA) and is supported by Monroe Community College (MCC) and the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program is also supported with funding from the Rochester Gas & Electric Economic Development Grant and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

“The students at the Genesee Valley BOCES and our region’s career and technical education centers are entering the manufacturing and skilled trades workforce with career-ready skills and experiences,” said Chris Suozzi, GCEDC Vice President of Business & Workforce Development. “The Youth Apprenticeship Program builds on those experiences with a direct pathway to rewarding careers at our region’s employers.”

To date, more than 400 high school juniors and seniors and nearly 150 businesses have participated in the program. in addition to the students’ work experiences, most take college-level courses at no charge through a dual enrollment agreement between participating schools and MCC. Entering this year, participants have taken more than 350 classes.

The next FLYAP “Signing Day” ceremony will be on Tuesday, March 14 at the Orleans Niagara BOCES in Medina, Orleans County. Additional programs can be found at; or you can contact FLYAP at or (585) 510-4278.

To view photos, click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene


Rich Turner Director of Workforce Development, Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association


Chris Suozzi, Genesee County EDC – STAMP VP Business & Workforce Development


Karli Houseknecht - Tambe Electric


Hunter Meyers - Tambe Electric


Robert McCarthy - Grahams Corporation


Students left to right Bradley Burdett - Maris Systems Design, Bailey Burdett - Nortera Foods and their parents

Students, local business participate in job fair at BOCES

By Press Release


Press release:

Over 450 local high school students had the opportunity to explore their career options at a local job fair held on February 28th at the Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center, which is part of the Batavia BOCES campus. The event, organized by the Genesee County Business/Education Alliance (Genesee County BEA) was open to all high school seniors in the area and featured a variety of local businesses looking to hire new talent.  

“The Genesee County BEA is proud to partner with Genesee Valley BOCES, Genesee County Economic Development Center, and GLOW with Your Hands to promote future career opportunities for our graduating seniors.  Many seniors have not finalized the next phase of their lives post-graduation, and the Graduating Senior Job Fair provides students the opportunity to speak with potential employers about their job openings and what training/apprenticeship programs they provide at no cost to the student.  The possibilities are endless!  Equally as important is introducing employers to CTE teachers who are teaching technical skills to the future workforce, and we witnessed several teachers and businesses exchanging contact information.  Hopefully, we will see new business partnerships developing as a result of this event,” explained Karyn Winters, director of the Genesee County Business Education Alliance Director.  

Erica Gibson, Graphic Arts Teacher, led her class into the job fair and was excited to see what opportunities were available for her students.  “There are a lot of jobs in our area, and you don’t have to go somewhere else to make money. I saw a lot of students talking to different companies, and it made me happy to see them engaging with employers,” explained Gibson.  

Some of the businesses that attended the job fair included Liberty Pumps, HP Hood, Batavia Downs, OATKA, and Six Flags Darien Lake. These companies represented a diverse range of industries, from manufacturing and gaming to food production and entertainment.

During the event, students had the chance to speak with representatives from various companies and learn more about the types of jobs available. Many of the businesses had information booths set up with flyers and brochures describing their job openings and requirements.  Students left with information from different companies and were eager to follow up with these businesses in the future.  

Senior Rocco Mika from Batavia Central School is in the Metal Trades program at Batavia CTE Center.  Rocco explained he is currently learning Welding and Machining but he is more interested in pursuing a career in Welding.  “I was looking forward to the welding opportunities.  A lot of students don’t get these opportunities, and a lot of kids don’t put themselves out there, but it’s easier to put yourself out there with these events,”  said Rocco.

Computer Information Systems Student Donte Marsceill from Batavia Central Schools is only a junior, but he also attended the event to see what it was about.  “I think this is a good opportunity to get out there and a step forward for searching for a job after school.  As of now I plan on going to college to earn a degree but this is something I now consider as well,” said Donte’.  

Shaina Snyder, a senior at Attica Central Schools, who is enrolled in the Medal Trades program, is interested in the machining aspect of her program.   “The job fair lets students get a view of what they can do after high school.  I would like to get a job and go right into the work field.  I really want to be a cnc machinist,” explained Shaina.    

Batavia CTE Center offers a range of programs designed to prepare students for careers in various fields, including healthcare, technology, and construction. The job fair provided students with a valuable opportunity to learn more about the local job market and connect with potential employers.

Overall, the job fair was a success, with many students leaving the event feeling more informed and better prepared for their future careers. The BEA plans to continue hosting job fairs in the future, with the hope of providing even more opportunities for local students to explore their career options.




Elba team takes home the win as 32nd annual Scholastic Bowl champs

By Joanne Beck


For some students, it might just be a game, but for Elba senior Cameron Havens, Scholastic Bowl meant a whole lot more.

An avid fan of “Jeopardy,” first with Alex Trebeck and more currently familiar with host Ken Jennings, Havens was ready to take down the competition. The Bowl finals Thursday evening put Elba Central in the ring with contenders Batavia City and Pavilion Central schools.

“I thought that Pavilion had taken the lead, and so, when I saw one of our teammates, he put his hand over his mouth like, surprise, wait, hold up,” Havens said after the conclusion of the series at the BOCES Batavia campus. “And then I saw them draw the 300 there, then my heart just, I just relaxed. I’m a senior, it’s a nice way to go out.”

Elba took first place with 300, followed by Pavilion with 290, and Batavia in third with 240.

This was the 32nd year of Scholastic Bowl, and it began in January. Student teams verbally battle for that top position by answering a variety of questions about geography, history, music, literature, science, arts, current events and other assorted topics.

Aerianna Cintorino, an Elba sophomore and newcomer to the game, said that she learned a good piece of advice to use in these situations.

“I also do masterminds, so learning that it's okay to answer because you won't get points taken off. So even if you think it's incorrect, you might be correct. So just say it. Don't be afraid to push your buzzer,” she said. “You may get trigger-heavy at some point in time, but it's fine. There were a few times that I kind of shocked myself that I was right.”

Ian Keberle, a senior at Elba who plans to pursue agribusiness in college, admitted that his team had one major strategy. It began during practice sessions of questions with other school districts.

“Our strategy is to not answer any of them to kind of subvert expectations for the other team. And then we come into the actual competition, and we just hammer it,” Keberle said. “So that's probably our main strategy.”


You know the lightning round? That’s when a team gets to answer a series of questions all at once to pick up several points. That wasn’t Batavia’s strongest moment, senior Jack Pickard said.

“Definitely the lightning round, where it was all the bays and sounds like I don’t even know what the sound was. So that was definitely difficult. Sounds, like it’s like a body of water or something. So yeah, that definitely stumped us,” he said.

He and his fellow teammates wore black shirts and pants, topped off with black sunglasses.

“Really, our goal was to be as intimidating as we could be,” senior Noah Pickard said. “Obviously, that didn’t work. But now we had a lot of fun doing it. We did it last year, and I walked out, and it’s just a thing that we decided to do again. It’s a tradition, and hopefully, it carries on.”

Like many of his fellow students, Noah participates in other extracurriculars, including track and cross country, which he plans to continue at Oneonta State College this fall.


Each team of students is guided by at least one coach that works with them throughout the year to prepare for and get through the annual Bowl. Elba's coach was Aaron Balko, Andy Kiebala was coach for Batavia, and Timothy Mapes was coach at Pavilion. Mapes said he looks forward to seeing the progress of future teams.

“We had practice each week, varying students would show up. We actually have quite a few students who are part of the program. And then we kind of bring our top four, top three competitors to each of the competitions,” he said. “But overall, throughout the school year, I think, you know, I'm really proud of how we performed in each of the events, sometimes coming from behind to win, sometimes dealing with adversity from not winning, and then just, you look at the championship round, and it came down to the final question, only losing by one point.

“This is also the second year that we've come in second place. So we're going to try to keep building off of this momentum going forward,” Mapes said. “I think it's a great opportunity for them to show off their knowledge, show off the things that they have learned throughout the school year, both the school year and in previous school years, and also have a chance to interact with other students from other schools who have a common interest that they have.”

Steve Cole, coordinator of enrichment services, presented the first, second and third place plaques and emphasized to students that “you really do a great service by representing your school so well, so you should be proud of yourself.”

Organizers for Scholastic Bowl include Cathy Preston, Kathleen Jursted and Stephanie Groff.

Top Photo: Elba Central School was the champion team in this year's Scholastic Bowl, featuring students Aidan McClurg, Ian Keberle, Aerianna Cintorino, Tim Kilner and Cameron Havens; Batavia came in third place, with Elijah Abdella, Jack Pickard, Ian Harmon, and Noah Pickard; and photo above, second place team of Pavilion, with Coach Sydney Pelton, students Jordan Eggleston, Evan Sidhu, and Grace Slocum, and Coach Timothy Mapes. Photos by Joanne Beck.

Genesee Valley BOCES hosts first LEGO League qualifier tournament

By Press Release


Press release:

Local students and students from the region gathered last week at Genesee Valley BOCES Mount Morris for the First LEGO League (FLL) Qualifier Tournament.  The competition tested each team’s ability to complete tasks using robots built from Legos. FLL was designed to engage youth through STEM learning and exploration.  Students obtained hands-on learning while discovering, exploring, and challenging themselves to apply their skills in an exciting competition.  

Students from Dansville, Keshequa, Oakfield-Alabama, Warsaw, and Wayland-Cohocton competed against each other during three rounds that lasted two and a half minutes each.  The goal was to complete the most missions and earn the most points.  

“The Genesee Valley Robotics program encourages students to practice real life engineering skills including computational thinking and iterative design. The social emotional impact of a program like this is also important as it helps many students find new connections to their school and classmates, explained Steve Nole, Coordinator of Enrichment Services at Genesee Valley BOCES.

Sixty students in grades fourth through eighth participated in this event.  The first part of the day was the presentation portion.  During the presentation competition teams were judged on three specific areas, one being their innovation project, where they had to identify and research a problem to solve around this year’s theme focused around clean energy solutions. Also teams had to present on their robot design. They had to identify their mission strategy and design their robot and programs to create an effective plan, and the last was on the core values, where they had to apply teamwork and respect each other's ideas and work together as a team on their specific challenge.

Ted Smith was the head judge of the competition and is the Sr. Crisis Intervention Specialist at Genesee Valley BOCES Mount Morris.  Smith explained he enjoys looking for a student's level of interest and looks to see if they had fun as part of the project.  “Events like this are a wonderful opportunity for the students to express their creativity, learn how to work together on a team, and think critically about a problem.   These are all skills which they will need in their life so being able to develop them in an event like this is good,” explained Smith.

Congratulations to the following teams on advancing to the next round:

The overall champion was the Oakfield-Alabama Hi-Tech Hornets.  Wayland -Cohocton Golden Eagles 2 was awarded the finalist.  Both of these teams will be going to the First Lego League Championship on February 18th in Buffalo.  Awards were given to teams for core values, innovation project, robot design, robot performance, and a coach/mentor award.

The top two teams, Oakfield-Alabama and Wayland-Cohocton, will move on to the championship competition.  Genesee Valley BOCES is pleased the event was a success and looks forward to hosting more FLL Challenges in the future.  

Submitted photos.

Top photo: The two students from Dansville are Haylee Rigdon and Bristol Blair.


Students from Oakfield- Alabama are (yellow hair hats) left to right are: Cameron Emerson, Lucas Bak, Connor Burgio, Carson Shelter. Nate Staebell is sitting behind Carson (no hat).


Wayland-Cohocton 7th Grader Ethan Bauer.


Hannah Sonricker, Levi Bennett, Warren Fox.

BOCES, Sheriff's Office partner for speed trailer outside Pavilion school

By Press Release


Press release:

As a grantee of the New York State Department of Health's Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) initiative, the Genesee Valley BOCES (GV BOCES) collaborated with multi-sector stakeholders and the community at large in Pavilion to increase roadway safety and active transportation opportunities for users of all ages and abilities.

A CHSC-funded mobile speed trailer was placed near Pavilion Central School to enhance roadway safety and walkability.  The speed limit in this area is 35 mph.  Since installing the mobile speed trailer, the Genesee County Sheriff's Office has been monitoring and collecting data.

Prior to the speed trailer, speeding was a major issue.  The violations hit over 80 mph at times.  The most recent data shows violations dropping below the 50 mph range.  The average speed in June 2022 was 39 mph, and as of October 2022, the average rate of speed is now 30 mph.  

The Town of Pavilion’s Comprehensive Plan articulated an overall vision for Pavilion, and a means to achieve that vision.  This included efforts for the community to gather, celebrate and work together towards common goals, such as revitalizing Hamlet so it continues to be the useful and attractive heart of the town.  Additionally, the plan focused on developing strategies for keeping the community attractive to current residents and desirable for drawing new residents to the community.

Road safety and efficiency for users of all ages and abilities are Pavilion’s primary transportation concerns and are connected to enhancing the community.  NYS Route 19, a north-south, 2-lane arterial and NYS Route 63, an east-west, 2 to 3-lane arterial, intersect in the Hamlet of Pavilion.  Both state routes experience considerable traffic volumes with significant tractor-trailer traffic as these state bypass routes are used to minimize freight travel distance. Safe passing options are limited in the areas just beyond this main intersection, and vehicles often perform illegal and risky maneuvers to circumvent freight traffic.  To compound matters, the elementary and middle/high schools are located a short distance from the intersection. 

In 2021, GV BOCES and the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Genesee Transportation Council, collaborated to facilitate a walkability tour and Pedestrian Environmental Quality Index Assessment with a multi-stakeholder advisory committee consisting of residents, the Town Supervisor, the Superintendent of Schools, the Director of School Transportation, the School Resource Officer, and the New York State Department of Transportation to learn more about roadway safety and walkability near the schools and the Hamlet of Pavilion.  Based on the data collected, an action plan and recommended interventions were developed.  The audit allowed the advisory committee to use multiple data points to identify potential improvements to support roadway safety and promote walkability.  

One data-driven recommendation made by the advisory committee included implementation of speed indicators.  As a result, GV BOCES Creating Healthy Schools and Communities funds supported the purchase of a mobile speed trailer to be deployed at multiple locations near the schools and Hamlet area to improve roadway safety and the quality of the transportation system.  

“Addressing roadway safety issues and enhancing opportunities for pedestrian activity support the vitality and economic development of the Hamlet and the health and wellness of the community.”  Rob LaPoint, Pavilion Town Supervisor

Moving forward, additional opportunities exist for community planning and interventions that increase safe and accessible physical activity to establish a community environment that supports the health and wellness of residents and the economic development of the area.  

“The mobile speed trailer helps to support the moderation of traffic conditions to improve the safety of operations for all roadway users with a particular emphasis on areas near the schools.  The mobile speed trailer has noticeably reduced speeders in front of the school.  While school is not in session, the unit is being used near the fire hall and the little league fields to increase awareness.  It has been a blessing to have the speed trailer added to our community.” Deputy Jeremy McClellan, Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and School Resource officer Pavilion CSD.

Bells that once hung at Batavia Middle School restored by BOCES students

By Press Release

Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center Auto Body program, for the last three months, has been restoring two Bells that used to hang at the  Batavia Middle School.    The bells will be presented at the Centennial Ceremony at Batavia Middle School.  The Auto Body students, with help from Conservation Students, made platforms for the newly renovated bells to sit on.  Going forward, the bells will be mobile and will be around for a long time.  

One of the bells is made of cast iron, and one is made of brass bronze. The brass bronze bell was made at the McNeeley Foundry in Troy, NY.  The bell arrived in Batavia back in 1873, likely by horse and buggy. The bell will be 150 years old next year. The other bell was made in the early 1900s in West Seneca, NY.  

Auto Body Teacher Jeffrey Fronk received an email  From Rachel Slobert about the bells, and immediately knew this would be the perfect project for his students.  Fronk said he knew how valuable these bells were and didn’t want them falling into the wrong hands.  He knew how important it was to restore them and learned the rich history behind them.  He wanted the students to get a chance to restore something different, especially with this much history in the community.  The last time the bells rang was Likely in the 1930s.  

To restore the bells they had to go through two different processes since one is cast iron and one is brass bronze.  The project was completed by 15 students who tore them apart, disassembled, sanded, primed, painted, and hand-polished them.  During the bell restoration, students argued over who went to work on it because they all wanted to be able to help.  

On an average year, the students fully restore 15 cars and 25 smaller jobs.  By restoring something other than a car, the students are getting other hands-on experience in restorations.  This shows students that they have other avenues to learn and make money.   You will never hear an Auto Body student say they don’t have anything to do.  They continue to learn and work on several projects throughout the year.  

“I had a mentor when I was young, Rick Hoffman, who in my opinion, was the best of the best, and I only wish I could be as good as he was and pay what he taught me forward.  I absolutely love watching these kids grow to not knowing what they're doing to dive into this bell and wanting to be a part of something so cool,” stated Fronk.   Fronk is looking forward to hearing the bells ring on stage at the Centennial Ceremony.  All of the students and teachers have been invited to this ceremony. 

Special thanks to Ryan Ditacchio, Bernie Harwood and Ed Swain for the guidance and instruction of these great students.

BOCES announces 23 LPN graduates

By Press Release


Press release:

The Genesee Valley BOCES School of Practical Nursing proudly graduated a new class of LPN Nurses. 

The class was made up of 23 students, and they were celebrated at a pinning ceremony on Friday, November 18th.   Instructors Marisa Dale, Donna Walsworth, and Amanda Milligan, assisted throughout the ceremony.  Heidi Mix, Regional Medical Programs Coordinator, was on hand to recognize the students for all of their hard work and commitment they gave during this 12-month program.  

Instructor Marisa Dale shared some thoughts on the graduation and why she enjoys teaching. 

“This is a big event, they finally finished their program, and they are ready to go out there and practice what we taught them," she said. " The program is extremely vigorous with a lot packed in a 12-month time frame.  My favorite part of teaching is watching them make the connection between the human touch and the actual science and nursing skills we are teaching them.  It’s so important because we need nurses, and we need good nurses,” stated Dale.  

Noelia Alvarado was named the Valedictorian, and Olivia Coniber was recognized as the Salutatorian.  The 23 graduates are Fatuma Abdi, Noelia Alvarado, Jenee Colon, Olivia Coniber, Precious Davis, Angel Fitzpatrick, Catrena Gano, Alaina Gray, Charlotte Hauslauer, Emonie Hernandez, Krystal Johnson, Melanie Kingston, Shaquanda Loyd, Alysia Mahoney, Dorothy Masuwa, Miranda Michel, Emily O’Neil, Melissa Santiago, Kristin Terranova, Ava Turcotte, Nicole Wickham, Nigel Wright, and Sumayya Yunusu.  

“It was hard balancing life, school, and work at the same time, you kind of have to be selfish this entire year because you have to dedicate so much time to it.” said Alvarado.  A long-term goal for Alvardo is to become a critical care nurse practitioner and she will continue her education following graduation from the LPN program.  

Before the ceremony, Olivia Coniber explained the hardest challenge for her was the classwork, but with hard work and the support of her classmates, she got through it.  “It took me a lot of years and a lot of hardship to be a nurse.  I’m so grateful I finally made it to one step, and I can keep moving on from this point,” said Coniber.  

This program is a 1200-clock-hour program, certified by the New York State Education Department, and is designed to prepare graduates for the NCLEX-PN Examination for licensure as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Graduates of the program receive a certificate of completion of licensed practical nursing. The LPN Program has a 98 percent job placement rate after passing the NCLEX exam.   

The complete list of instructors is Marisa Dale, Alyssa Coffey, Amanda Milligan, Stacey Gill, Donna Walsworth, Frank Dana, Kathy Kelly, Kathy Coyne, Jackie Felker, Heidi Mix, Stacy Westhead, and Meagan White. 

Submitted photos: Top photo and second photo, Olivia Coniber.



Noelia Alvarado

Pre-apprenticeship 'boot camp' gives some muscle to job advancement

By Joanne Beck


Boot camp every weekday for the last six weeks has been worth it, Greg Burgess says.

Only, instead of a typical camp filled with burpees and jumping jacks, this one focused on future careers in food, beverage and advanced manufacturing and service technician sectors.

“I thought it was really good, I came for electrical,” he said Thursday morning after receiving his completion certificate at the BOCES campus in Batavia. “We learned to read prints and schematics — understanding schematics. It was really helpful, and good troubleshooting. I think that was the best part.”

Perhaps the next best part was that it didn’t cost Burgess a penny. This was a Genesee Valley pre-apprenticeship program that was designed to assist companies with recruitment and training. His employer, Georgia Pacific, sent Burgess to obtain additional skills that he will need for a job as a technician with his company’s maintenance department.

The 29-year-old is moving up the ladder, having been promoted once already. He is a testimony that high school drop-outs — he left Alexander High in 2011 — can go on to become successful in a field.

Advertisements for the program are one thing, Director of Workforce Development Richard Turner said, but “it's another thing when you've got proof positive that this education works, and that you got a start from here.”

“So you're our advertisement, here's the referral for what we're trying to get to get people. And the more and more we do this, more and more people are going to have confidence in us,” he said.

Burgess was one of seven graduates of the program. There were eight guys in the beginning, however, one had some personal issues and left the program, but with a job at Darien Lake, said longtime BOCES teacher Rich Monroe. He emphasized the large pool of jobs available for anyone with some trade skills.

“There's a vast amount of opportunity in advanced manufacturing and food processing, especially in Genesee County. We've got just a cornucopia of different opportunities here, and that's where this all kind of started with economic development, not having enough qualified people to do technical jobs,” he said. “So we started with this two years ago. And last year was our first attempt at doing what will be called boot camp. And it's really to try to address either incumbent workers that are trying to move a step up within the company, maybe they’re maintenance personnel, maybe they’re a production person, and they get the go-ahead from their boss to say, you know, we’d like to have you try this because we see something in you.”

The other situation is when students are recently graduated from school, or maybe they attempted college, and it really wasn't their thing, he said. This was a no-cost opportunity for them to explore something at no risk.

“All they had to do was show up for 96 hours, seven to 11 every day. And the other important thing is that we were there, and each one of them is partnered with a company. So it really is that academic experience, along with hands-on experience. Is this something you think you want to do? We're giving them every opportunity to explore it.”

The program trains students in a wide variety of mechatronic simulation settings to prepare them for in-demand careers throughout the region. Along with the in-class instruction, the students also received paid, on-the-job training and an opportunity for full-time employment with local employers.

The training was provided at no cost to the students and companies due to grants secured by Genesee Community College, Genesee Economic Development Council, and the Workforce Development Institute. Participating employers for the 2022 program include Arctic Refrigeration, Bonduelle, Darien Lake, Georgia Pacific, O-AT-KA Milk Products, Tambe Electric, and Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

The Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program is primarily funded through the SUNY Reimagine Workforce Preparation Training Program and is supported by the Genesee Valley BOCES, Rochester Technology Manufacturers Association, Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program, GCC, Genesee County Economic Development Center, GLOW Workforce Development Board and Workforce Development Institute.

“Thanks to partnerships between our workforce training providers and employers, opportunities like the Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program are creating a fast and successful path for more and more of our talented young people to join rewarding, growing careers in mechatronics,” added GCEDC Vice President of Business and Workforce Development, Chris Suozzi.



Top photo: Erik Kesler, Joseph DePalma, Zaric Boyce, Joseph Abrams, Brayden Hickey and Greg Burgess; (Back Row) Rich Turner, Jay Lazarony (GLOW Works), Tish Williams (GCC), Bob Coyne (RTMA), Rich Monroe (Genesee Valley BOCES) and Chris Suozzi (GCEDC). Photo above: Graduate Brayden Hickey receives his diploma from Rich Turner as Bob Coyne waits in line to offer congratulations Thursday at Genesee Valley BOCES. Photos by Joanne Beck.

Students learning career skills in workforce development programs at BOCES

By Press Release


Press release:

School is out which means expanding Genesee County Workforce Training Programs began to help students prepare for skilled labor jobs with employers in the GLOW region.

The Genesee Valley BOCES has hosted the recently completed Cornell in High School Dairy Processing Bootcamp and the start of the Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship bootcamps that connect high school graduates from the GLOW region with local manufacturers within the dairy processing industry and mechatronics field.

During Cornell in High School, recent high school graduates were provided classroom instruction and on-site training for potential career opportunities with area companies. Students attended the Dairy Processing Bootcamp free of cost and received a $500 value training certificate.

“It was encouraging to see the strong turnout and engagement by students who are ready for careers in dairy processing,” said Cornell Dairy Processing & Marketing Specialist, Anika Zuber Gianforte. “Students gained valuable skills and connections through Cornell and our participating employers that they can use to grow rewarding careers right in their backyard."

The Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program trains students in a wide variety of mechatronic simulation settings to prepare them for in-demand career opportunities in positions such as machine builders, CNC mechanists, electronics technicians, and other positions within the mechatronics field. Students receive in-class instruction along with paid on-the-job training with local employers such as Bounduelle and Tambe Electric.

“Youth and pre-apprenticeship programs allow students to better prepare for high-demand mechatronics careers,” said Rich Turner, Director of Workforce Development for the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association. “The combination of classroom and on-the-job training is giving students the skills needed for our advanced manufacturing workforce while setting them up for success for years to come.”

Genesee County workforce training programs continue to grow year after year as there is strong demand among area companies for workers. There are hundreds of immediate job openings in the food and beverage manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, and service technician sectors.

“Thanks to our local government partners, companies are expanding their operations by investing in our shovel-ready sites and creating new jobs,” said GCEDC Vice President of Business & Workforce Development Chris Suozzi. “Companies are taking notice of the favorable business ecosystem being built in the GLOW region and the ability to hire into an engaged and ready workforce.”

The workforce development schedule will continue into the school year, with the annual GLOW With Your Hands on Sep. 27 in Batavia.

Submitted photos


Registration open for three-day dairy processing bootcamp

By Press Release

Press release:

Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will be hosting a free three-day dairy processing bootcamp at the Genesee Valley BOCES from June 28th through June 30th for Genesee County high school students.  The program is designed for career ready individuals seeking opportunities in the dairy manufacturing and dairy processing industries. The program starts each day at 8:00 AM and concludes at 3:30 p.m.

The Genesee County Economic Development Center and the Workforce Development Institute provided the funding for the program. The bootcamp program will connect high school graduates with local manufacturers such as HP Hood, O-AT-KA Milk Products and Upstate Milk Cooperative in Batavia, and Yancey’s Fancy in Pembroke.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our local high school graduates to get on a successful career pathway without having to immediately go to college and perhaps avoid incurring student loan debt,” said Chris Suozzi, Vice President of Business & Workforce Development, Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). “The participants will be receiving top tier instruction from Cornell University which will include hands-on training simulation experience, plant tours and more.”

There are currently over 100 available dairy manufacturing and dairy processing positions at these Genesee County businesses with average starting salaries of approximately $20 per hour. Human resource representatives from the various companies will be on hand to explain career path options, job duties and the application process.

“We have instructors with years of experience in the dairy field and bring an extensive amount of knowledge to this program,” said Cornell Dairy Processing & Marketing Specialist, Anika Zuber Gianforte. “The dairy industry is in need of workers, this bootcamp is the perfect opportunity for someone who is on the search for a well-paying and debt-free start to their career.”

To register for the upcoming Cornell in High School Dairy Processing Bootcamp visit

Students must be at least 18 years old and have a high school degree to participate. Additional information is available

BOCES announces senior awards

By Press Release


Press release:

The Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center is proud to announce the achievements of its seniors.  The award winners, their programs, home schools and scholarships received, are noted below.

  • Abigail Carney, Pavilion, Health Careers Academy, Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship
  • Alexa Wolcott, Pavilion, Culinary Arts, Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship
  • Jenna Gilbert, Oakfield-Alabama, Health Careers Academy, Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship
  • Carlyn Hanlin, Alexander, Building Trades, Livingston Associates Best in Class Award
  • Joseph Rebmann, Alexander, Electro-Mechanical Trades, Livingston Associates Best in Class Award
  • Connor Gale, Byron-Bergen, Automotive Technology, Student of the Year for the AM session
  • David Gracie, LeRoy, Auto Body Repair, Student of the Year for the PM session
  • Courtney Schum, Alexander, Health Careers Academy, Batavia Rotary Club Memorial Fund Scholarship
  • Neva Saile, Alexander, Health Careers Academy, The Kiwanis Club of Batavia Outstanding Citizenship Award
  • Parker Dobson, Oakfield Alabama, Building Trades, Blakeslee Award
  • Hope Bell, Attica, Building Trades, Doug Dayton Memorial Award
  • Brayden Woods, Alexander, Building Trades, Ignatius J. Radesi Memorial Award
  • Alex Lamb, Pembroke, Building Trades, Paul Levin’s Memorial Award
  • Lucas Durfee, Attica, Building Trades, Pullinzi Family Scholarship
  • Andrew Newell, Attica, Building Trades, Batavia Rod & Gun Club Memorial Scholarship
  • LiliAna Espinoza, Batavia, Culinary Arts, Chef Russell Bugbee Memorial Award
  • Alexa Wolcott, Pavilion, Culinary Arts, Josh Mouery Memorial Award
  • Alexander Lynn, Cal-Mum, Electro-Mechanical Trades, The James P. Donnelly Memorial Award
  • Adam Risewick, LeRoy, Electro-Mechanical Trades, The James P. Donnelly Memorial Award

Submitted photos. 

Top photo: Julie Donlon, E.d.D., Deputy Superintendent, GV BOCES (left) presents the Charles Holowach Memorial Scholarship to Abigail Carney, a Health Careers Academy student from Pavilion.


Alexander Lynn (left), an Electro-Mechanical Trades student from Cal-Mum, accepts the James P. Donnelly Memorial Award from Rich Monroe, Electro-Mechanical Trades Instructor.

Pair of BOCES students win $10k scholarships in auto tech competition

By Press Release


Press release:

Two Batavia Career and Technical Education (CTE) Center Auto Tech students brought home a very BIG trophy on May 21!

Conner Gale from Byron-Bergen Central Schools, and Noah Burke from Batavia City Schools, took first place in the Ron Smith Memorial Automotive Competition that was held at Erie Community College and sponsored by Niagara Frontier Automotive Dealer Association (NFADA).

Each student won a $10,000 college scholarship, as well as, a $5,000 tool scholarship.

Charlie Pfeil and Tom Hermann, representatives from NFADA, recently paid a visit to the Batavia CTE Center to recognize these two students and also present them with their scholarship certificates.

Hermann explained how noteworthy it was for these two high school seniors to win this competition.

“This is a very big deal for you to win the competition. In the past, the winners of the competition have been people who have graduated from high school and are employed at dealerships,” Hermann said.  “This is a great accomplishment to put on your resume. The future is yours.”

When asked about the competition both Connor and Noah said that they were apprehensive.

“It was nerve-racking,” Noah said.  “We knew the tasks that we had to complete but we weren’t sure of the specific issues we had to fix. But we worked together as a team.” (One of the tasks included diagnosing and repairing an issue with a vehicle that had been purposely bugged.)

Overall, both students felt prepared for the competition.  “We spent time after school preparing and also spent a week working at Basil Ford in Buffalo so we could work on newer model vehicles,” Connor said.  “The extra time that we spent preparing really paid off. Mr. Yates really helped us to understand how to problem solve,” Noah said.

Bob Yates, Auto Technology Instructor, said, "Conner and Noah represented Genesee Valley BOCES and my Automotive Technology class in the most professional manner. These two students were so dedicated and spent many hours preparing for the competition,” Yates said.  “This preparedness proved their success, and I’m so proud of Connor and Noah.”

Both Noah and Conner plan to pursue their education.  Conner is currently employed at Livingston Associates and plans to go to college for automotive technology.  Noah plans to attend the State University of New York at Morrisville to study Automotive Management.

Vincent Dickinson, a junior from Batavia City Schools, placed second in the Ron Smith Memorial Automotive Competition Tire Rodeo.  This event is a timed event test of how a student to properly mounts, balances and, installs a tire.

Congratulations to Conner Gale, Noah Burke, and Vincent Dickinson.


Top photo: Margaret Poray, Executive Principal GV BOCES Batavia Campus; Bob Yates, Auto Technology Instructor; Noah Burke, Conner Gale, Charlie Pfeil and Tom Hermann, representatives from NFADA.

Submitted photos.


 Vincent Dickinson and Bob Yates with Vincent’s award for placing second in the Ron Smith Memorial Automotive Competition Tire Rodeo.

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