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GLOW With Your Hands

September 27, 2022 - 10:00pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, fairgrounds, GLOW With Your Hands, batavia, notify.


As promised, Genesee County Fairgrounds was overrun with kids — more than 1,000 of them — for most of Tuesday.

But instead of it being some kind of free-for-all riot, the students from 30 school districts were there to focus on work. As part of a GLOW With Your Hands initiative, the event offered several stations where kids could not only see and hear about various careers in the work world but also get hands-on experience to get a real feel for what the different fields are like.

This was the fourth such event, and with an ever-growing attendance, Co-Chairman Chris Suozzi said.

“In 2019 we had over 800 students, and this year we had over 1,000. Then we had 50 vendors, today we have 65 vendors,” Suozzi said. “Students can start exploring careers that work with your hands, and by the way, all of these careers are local. It’s a whole day of getting out of the classroom … and exploring different careers, especially for kids who are career-focused. It’s all about getting kids to focus on these great careers that we have locally.”


School districts represented the four counties of GLOW — Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming. Organizers consider it the region’s largest hands-on career exploration fair that provided interactive experiences with skilled trades, advanced manufacturing, food and beverage manufacturing, construction and agriculture fields.


Another plus was that kids also met with professionals in those fields, and potential future employers, organizers said.

“While the record participation of our students and businesses is welcome, the true success of GLOW With Your Hands is the having a youth arrive at our event and discover a passion for a career that they may have never considered before,” Co-Chairman Jay Lazarony said in a press release. “Our exhibitors, volunteers, sponsors and organizers are dedicated to supporting students today, and throughout their path to success.”

Students rotated through stations where they were able to operate backhoes and excavators, compete in nail driving and construction competitions, and test their skills on dairy farming and welding simulators.


Chris Suozzi

“It’s incredible to see so many students that are excited about careers right in their own backyard,” Suozzi said. “Our companies are growing, and today demonstrates that the national workforce challenge can be solved locally.”

Students weren’t the only ones to enjoy the fun of digging in the dirt, as state Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon visited the fairgrounds and acknowledged her fascination with excavators. She encouraged the young participants to pursue one of the many careers they glimpsed during the day.

“This is an opportunity for young people to come into a career fair and really experience things with their hands I was over at megatronic station, they can do the circuitry, the air pressure, there’s all kinds of animal husbandry on one side, moving excavators, bucket trucks for young people not to just read about a skill, or have somebody talk about it, but doing it themselves,” Reardon said. “They’re petting the cows and calves, and doing all the megatronic set-up. It’s great to watch them interact with each other and interact with these skill sets. They’re really excited. We need these kinds of career fairs so these young people can make a really smart career path that will sustain their lives.”

She thanked event organizers for hosting the career fair, and reminded the public of the 96 career centers throughout New York that have online training and job resources.

Click here for more information about GLOW WithYour Hands


Roberta Reardon






Top Photo: A student takes control of an excavator after getting some hands-on lessons during Tuesday's GLOW With Your Hands event; students from 30 school districts within Genesee, Orleans, Livingston and Wyoming counties learn about everything from milking a cow and performing utility work on a pole to mechanical repairs, food chain occupations and laying bricks during the fourth GLOW event at Genesee County Fairgrounds. Photos by Stephen Ognibene.

September 14, 2022 - 2:02pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW With Your Hands, GCEDC, workforce development, news.
Video Sponsor

Press release:

GLOW With Your Hands is coming back to the Genesee County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, Sept. 27 and is anticipating its largest turnout of students and vendors since its inception in 2019. Over 1,000 students from 28 school districts across the GLOW region will be arriving to the fairgrounds for the day-long, hands-on career exploration event.

Approximately 65 businesses will provide hands-on activities and simulations in the advanced manufacturing, agriculture, food production, skilled trades sectors as well as the various branches of the military. Students will have the opportunity to learn about career opportunities in their own backyard.

“The historic participation of students and businesses is the result of the hard work of our committee members, volunteers, sponsors, and local stakeholders,” said Chris Suozzi, GLOW With Your Hands Co-Chair. “Interacting with GLOW region companies opens many possibilities for students entering the workforce as employers are eagerly ready to hire our well-trained graduates to fill high-growth and high-demand positions within their operations.”

Businesses will bring hands-on simulation-type activities to portray accurate examples of what their job entails, including Platinum Sponsors National Grid, LandPro Equipment, and Genesee Construction. National Grid will have its team members on site with a line pole to demonstrate line work. LandPro Equipment will have members from its team operating John Deere equipment. Genesee Construction will welcome students to a heavy equipment display. There will also be multiple trade and contractor organizations putting on displays of bricklaying, electrician work, pipelaying, and more. 

“Participating businesses put in a tremendous effort at providing the students as accurate a demonstration of the type of work their workforce performs on a day-to-day basis and to spark career inspiration and exploration in our youth,” said Jay Lazarony, GLOW With Your Hands Co-Chair. “We are counting down the days until September 27th when all of the hard work over the last several months by many groups and organizations across the GLOW region will become a reality.”

For more information about GLOW With Your Hands, please visit glowwithyourhands.com

August 28, 2022 - 4:01pm
Video Sponsor


Brett Doward (top photo) and Levi Bennett (second photo) might want a rematch in next year's boxcar derby -- assuming there is one, and by all indications, there will be -- after facing off against each other in both each other's first heat of the day and in the finals for their age bracket.

That finals race had to be run twice after the first race wound up in a tie.  

In the first match of the Doward/Bennett rivalry, Doward won by a wheel.  In the first heat of the finals, the race ended in a tie.

In that second race for the Suozzi Memorial Trophy, Doward won handily. 

The day was also marked by an appearance by Roger Martin with a boxcar he built himself in the late 1930s and which took him to the national championships in 1940.  His son ran it once down the Ellicott Avenue hill, where Martin's car had seen past glory.

There were 28 competitors running against each other in pairs with double-elimination until the final rounds.

The derby was sponsored by the Business Improvement District and Glow With Your Hands.




Dominic Darch and Brett Doward, winners of the 7-10 and 11-13-year-old brackets.


The start of the first run of the finals race for the 11-13 bracket. Levi Bennet on the left, Brett Doward on the right.



Bennett on the left and Doward on the right.


Doward in the lead at the end of the first race.











Lilly Gray glances back at Shannon Maute, BID director, as she beats her in an exhibition race at the end of the event.

August 24, 2022 - 1:57pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW With Your Hands, news.

Press release:

GLOW With Your Hands is partnering with AQS Redemption Inc. to collect bottles and cans to help fund career exploration programs. The returns will go into a workforce development fund at GLOW Works, Inc. and be available for use toward future workforce programming in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

“GLOW Works, Inc. was created to help fund programs for workforce training and development for the future workforce in the GLOW region, including the annual GLOW With Your Hands event (to be held next on September 27th at the Genesee County Fairgrounds),” said Jay Lazarony, GLOW With Your Hands Co-Chair. “On behalf of the GLOW With Your Hands committee, we appreciate AQS Redemption Inc. for its participation and support of this initiative and encourage the community to consider supporting this effort to benefit our youth.”

AQS Redemption Inc., is a NYS Bottle and Can Redemption Company that will be coordinating the collections. Residents can schedule complimentary pick-ups or drop off their redeemable bottles and cans at the company’s location at 1 North Main Street in Elba, NY.  Businesses can also host a bottle and can drive at their workplace.  Residents and businesses can call at 585-250-0870 or email [email protected] to find out more information.

“This is all about investing and participating in the success of our area youth and their future career aspirations,” said Quinn Schrader, CEO, AQS Redemption Inc.  “It’s a great way for our company to support the future workforce needs of businesses across our region.”

To kickoff Cans for Careers, a special donation station will be setup at the Batavia Downtown Business Improvement District's First Annual Box Car Derby on August 27th starting at 9:30 AM. Local youth ages 7-13 years old built their own box cars and will race them down Ellicott Avenue.

“What better way to kick off this program than at the first annual box car derby where area youth will display their ingenuity and skills in designing and racing their own custom-made box cars,” said Chris Suozzi, GLOW With Your Hands co-chair.  “That’s what GLOW With Your Hands is all about and more importantly matching the skills of our youth with the needs of companies and businesses looking for the next generation of their workforce.”

For more information on how to be a part of Cans for Careers, please visit glowwithyourhands.com/cans-for-careers.

August 18, 2022 - 8:05am


There are kids in every high school who, when it comes time to make that serious decision after graduation, just don’t know what they want to do, Molly Haungs says.

And the GLOW With Your Hands program is a way to introduce kids early on to many career options that don't necessarily require a costly college degree.

“I am a marketing manager, I have a college degree. It took me seven and a half years to get there. That's an expensive mistake, and that was a long time ago. It's an even more expensive mistake now. And I think if we can kind of get some of these kiddos that just aren't really sure what they want to do, in front of businesses and in front of occupations, where they can feel a sense of fulfillment and know that they're gonna make a good honest living. There's just so much pride in that,” Haungs said during a GLOW celebration Wednesday at the site of her employer, Land Pro Equipment. “And this community offers a ton of opportunities. So that's really what the GLOW With Your Hands project is about, it’s aligning potential students with the businesses that have careers that can make it all happen and come together.”


Haungs and several other partners in the four-county effort (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming) got together to announce the program’s success in attracting those students, and area businesses, to participate.

This year 1,000 students will be learning various skills that are in demand in the workforce, from high-tech construction equipment operators and advanced manufacturing to food production and jobs in the agricultural market.

Land Pro Equipment, in progress with a project at its site at Saile Drive and Call Parkway, was one of the founders of the program and therefore has been a participating business for interested students. Haungs said this kick-off event couldn’t have happened at a better time “as we continue with the construction of our 50,000 square-foot regional training center with sales, service, and training facilities,” she said.

“In order to repair and maintain a large portfolio of John Deere equipment, we need workers with a specific set of skills because these machines use highly sophisticated electronics and other high-end controls. We are finding that GLOW With Your Hands is truly making a difference … I mean, you'll see kids that are driving nails. I got to see some things last year that, you just see a spark in their eye and interest created, and it's just such a good feeling when you see that light in one kid.”

Her company first saw such an initiative at a Finger Lakes Career Fair, and everyone agreed that it should be replicated here, Haungs said. One by one, key players joined in the effort, from Co-Chairmen Jay Lazarony and Chris Suozzi, GLOW With Your Hands School Coordinator Angela Grouse and Melinda Mack, New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals executive director, to marketing committee co-chairman Jim Krencik.

And a win-win became evident: employers provided opportunities for students to learn hands-on skills, students and their families could eliminate college debt, and more trained workers are becoming available for employers seeking people to fill positions.

chris_suozzi.jpgAs Suozzi said, “The GLOW region has become a hub for workforce development because of events such as GLOW With Your Hands, which provides hands-on experiences in growing and emerging fields that can lead to good paying career opportunities without students having to incur the cost of a college education.”

Students from eighth to 12th grades will come from all four counties for a career boot camp of sorts, learning hands-on skills and trades and having the opportunity to dip their toes in several occupational pools, so to speak.

More than 45 vendors have already committed to participate in hands-on activities and simulations in the advanced manufacturing, agriculture, food production, skilled trades sectors, and various branches of the military.

Mack said the efforts of GLOW With Your Hands represent the impact that workforce development partnerships are having for the next generation of talent.

mack.jpg“GLOW With Your Hands is a model of how regional stakeholders are collaborating on workforce development initiatives that provide industries across many sectors with a pipeline of prospective skilled workers,” she said. “We are very passionate about workforce development, it is our goal to provide voice, knowledge, and accelerating progress in this field through events and initiatives like GLOW With Your Hands.”

The student participants will converge on Genesee County Fairgrounds on Sept. 27, and, as a result of this program, local residents have “many options for good-paying, family-sustaining jobs,” Lazarony said.

“But the job is not done. We need to focus on the next generation of workers because of the immediate need for skilled workers due to the rate of retiring laborers. It's important to note, that a number of these jobs do not require a four-year college degree. Graduating students can start their careers without incurring or letting their parents incur the cost of college education,” he said.

“There was a time not too long ago that you didn't have a college degree and you couldn't get a good paying job, a family-sustaining job. That's not the case any longer,” he said. “Simply put, employers that report skilled workers now, especially those that can grow within their companies in the coming decades, through our collaboration with the business sector, and stakeholders in government events like GLOW With Your Hands, are helping meet this demand. The future for our regional economy depends on us meeting this demand.”

Haungs also credits Karen Winters of Genesee County’s Business Education Alliance as the one who “kind of got in front of the right people to make this happen.” From there, it snowballed into a much larger territory of workforce development opportunities for students, she said.

“And it was just a trickle-down effect of people, just knowing that we need this, and knowing that this is going to make a difference,” Haungs said.

Top photo from left, Jay Lazarony, Angela Grouse, Molly Haungs, Melinda Mack, Chris Suozzi, and Jim Krencik celebrate the GLOW With Your Hands program, which will involve 1,000 students from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties at a hands-on training Sept. 27 at Genesee County Fairgrounds. Photos by Joanne Beck.

July 26, 2022 - 11:29pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW With Your Hands, batavia, muckdogs, GCEDC, news.

Press release:

GLOW With Your Hands is hosting a “Night at the Ballpark” in conjunction with the Batavia Muckdogs on Friday, July 29th at 7 PM. Participating companies and businesses from the GLOW Region will be in attendance to showcase activities that will be on display at the 3rd annual GLOW With Your Hands event on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

GLOW With Your Hands Committee members will be on site to share information, giveaways, and assist with hands-on activities during the game.

Among the vendors attending and the activities they are promoting include:

  • Allegheny Farms: Heavy Equipment Display
  • Bricklayers and Allied Contractors Local #3: Brick Wall Activity
  • Summit Street Physical Therapy: Demonstrations
  • Genesee Valley BOCES: Clean Hands Activity
  • Transfer VR: Virtual Reality Career Exploration

“We invite all of our past and future GLOW With Your Hands participants and our entire GLOW community to join us for both a great game and the opportunity to see some of what makes our event so impactful,” said GLOW Workforce Development Board Executive Director, Jay Lazarony. “We also hope the event at the ballpark will generate more interest among businesses and companies to join us at this year’s event.”

“We want to provide the best day possible on September 27th for GLOW region students by having high-quality vendor activities in order to create a fun, educational, learning environment,” said GLOW With Your Hands, Co-Chair, Chris Suozzi.. “The hundreds of students who will be attending GLOW With Your Hands are the next generation of skilled laborers and professionals, and we are confident that based on the past success of the previous events that area companies will find well-qualified and highly trainable candidates for employment.”

June 29, 2022 - 1:23pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW With Your Hands, workforce development, news.


Press release:

GLOW With Your Hands is on the search for volunteers to help support the day-long, hands-on career exploration event for GLOW Region students on September 27, 2022.

Launched in 2019, GLOW with Your Hands is an annual hands-on career exploration event in which over 800 middle and high school students from 25 school districts in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties learn about high-growth and high-demand career opportunities in agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and the skilled trades among others.

Volunteers are needed in all aspects of the event including hard hat and student bag assembly, post-event clean-up, table and chair setup, and guiding students throughout the day. Volunteers ensure the event runs smoothly in a timely manner. 

“The success of GLOW With Your Hands would not be possible without the help and hard work of our volunteers,” said GLOW Workforce Development Board Executive Director, Jay Lazarony. “Volunteers make the student experience worthwhile, educational, and enjoyable! There are many moving parts to the event, the more people helping us out, the better this day will be for our future generation.”

Annually, the event averages roughly 100 volunteers, with 50 – 75 individuals working directly with the students. Some volunteers will be paired with students individually for assistance. There are several vendors that rely on volunteers to facilitate a positive learning environment to make sure students are having fun and staying safe.

“Volunteers play an important role to encourage students to participate in hands-on career demonstrations and ask employers questions that can help them understand job opportunities in their own backyard,” said GLOW With Your Hands Volunteer Committee leader Karyn Winters. “We are a volunteer-based event, the people involved are invested in the future of GLOW region students and want them to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Volunteers must be at least 18 years or older. Additional information and volunteer applications are available here:https://www.glowwithyourhands.com/volunteer.

Additionally, GLOW With Your Hands leaders encourage community members to consider joining the program’s organizing committee and sub-committees.

“Our initial volunteers enabled GLOW With Your Hands to become a reality, and we welcome new leaders to support the continued growth of these opportunities,” Lazarony said. “Our organizing committee and sub-committees are always in need of new energy and new ideas as we build the best experience for our youth.”

May 11, 2022 - 12:06pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW With Your Hands, batavia, Business.

Press release:

Sponsors, led by businesses that have made hands-on impressions with hundreds of students, are stepping up to bring career exploration to GLOW With Your Hands.

Genesee Construction, LandPro Equipment, and National Grid will be platinum sponsors for GLOW With Your Hands 2022, which is coming back to the Genesee County Fairgrounds in Batavia on September 27th, 2022.

Launched in 2019, GLOW with Your Hands conducted the first hands-on career exploration event in which over 800 middle and high school students from 25 school districts in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties learn about high-growth and high-demand career opportunities in agriculture, advanced manufacturing, and the skilled trades among others.

“GLOW With Your Hands introduces students to careers that provide good-paying jobs with excellent benefits and opportunities for growth that do not require 4 years of college and the expense of tuition that goes along with that,” said GCEDC Vice President of Business and Workforce Development, Chris Suozzi. “The bottom line is that dynamic and growing companies in the GLOW region need skilled workers now. Sponsors like Genesee Construction, LandPro Equipment, and National Grid have recognized this and make investments that improve students’ awareness and readiness in our region.”

As of May 10, GLOW With Your Hands 2022 has received sponsorships from 20 manufacturing, skilled trades, agriculture, and food and beverage companies across the GLOW region. A complete list of 2022 and past sponsors is available at GLOWWithYourHands.com/sponsors.

“Our sponsors are one of the main reasons we have seen so much success and interest with GLOW With Your Hands these past few years,” said GLOW Workforce Development Board Executive Director Jay Lazarony. “It is important for our students to be exposed to companies that offer career opportunities in their backyard rather than thinking they have to move somewhere else for a career opportunity.”

Hundreds of students will once again experience hands-on activities and demonstrations to enhance their understanding and interest in careers at companies within the GLOW region. Exhibits and workplace simulations will include demonstrations of mechatronics, welding, bricklaying, electrical lineman work and others. Students will be able to learn about careers in food packaging, veterinary sciences, animal nutrition and commercial trucking.

“We want GLOW students to embrace and learn about their career options before graduating from high school. Our corporate partners provide these students a chance to experience a trade or skill they have not encountered before,” Suozzi continued.

For more information about GLOW With Your Hands, including volunteer opportunities and event details, visit GLOWWithYourHands.com.

September 29, 2021 - 12:19pm


More than 700 students from throughout the GLOW region -- including students from every high school in Genesee County --  participated Tuesday in GLOW With Your Hands at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

The event gives students a chance to experience a variety of trades including, bricklaying, carpentry, electrical, mechanical, and various forms of manufacturing.  

Among the 40 companies participating wereOxbow, Liberty Pumps, and O-AT-KA Milk.  Major sponsors included LandPro and Genesee Construction.

Photos by Steve Ognibene

To view or purchase pictures, click here.










August 30, 2021 - 3:54pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, GCEDC, GLOW With Your Hands.


Congressman Chris Jacobs no doubt spoke for millions of Americans when he expressed his appreciation for those men and women who possess the ability to work with their hands.

Jacobs was the keynote speaker this afternoon as economic development, business and educational leaders from the four-county area gathered together at the Genesee County Fairgrounds to promote the third annual GLOW With Your Hands career exploration event.

The career day is scheduled for Sept. 28 at the fairgrounds on East Main Street Road.


Related story: Dansville construction firm excited to support 4-H


About 700 students in grades 8-12 from 30 school districts and home school groups along with 40 vendors from different trades are expected to participate.

“Prior to being in elected office, I have a real estate development company – mostly in Erie County. But, I have no skills, myself, as far as trades, and my wife will attest to that,” Jacobs revealed, drawing a laugh from the 30 or so people in attendance.

“But, I’ve always enjoyed so much … working with the trades and I still do a little bit – projects – because I was always amazed by the skill sets they brought. Their ability to – I think someone said, problem-solve. That’s what they do every single day because every single project has different variations and challenges and factors, and they have to adopt.”

Jacobs said that the “level of skill and adaptability that I’ve seen in the trades is something that I’ve always had such admiration for, and that’s one reason I enjoyed so much being a real estate developer.”

With that in the backdrop, Jacobs said he will continue to work with Assemblyman Steven Hawley (who spoke after him) and state leaders to secure the funding necessary to keep GLOW With Your Hands going – and hopes that he will be able to attend the event on Sept. 28.

He said he was impressed with the inaugural event in 2019, noting that he took part in the nail hammering competition and tried his hand at welding.

“I have always thought … it’s giving children – I think it’s very important for our kids to see a future that lies ahead and opportunities that lie ahead …,” he said. “I also think that, and I know we have educators here, that the ability to understand application (and kids realizing that) ‘OK, that makes sense why I’m in class learning math because I need to measure things and it actually has a real world application.’”

The NY-27 representative commended the many partners in the GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming) region that “are doing so many things for this event, but also in charting the new path for the future of our region.”

“It cannot happen without a skilled workforce. So, this is critically important for the future of these children to be able to achieve what their dreams, aspirations and talents lie, but also that we cannot achieve our broader objective without them.”

Jacobs emphasized the importance of having local leaders determine the outcomes for their communities.

“Bring it down small, bring it down local to empower those on the ground to be able to do what they think is right,” he said. “That’s what we need in our federal policy, too, and clearly what you’re doing with federal resources – and I want to make sure we get more federal resources to you to continue to build upon this … that we go every year to make sure that we have more and more kids going into the trades.”

Chris Suozzi, vice president of workforce development, Genesee County Economic Development Center, and Jay Lazarony, executive director of the GLOW Workforce Development Board, are co-chairs of this year’s GLOW With Your Hands career fair.

Suozzi thanked Genesee Construction of Dansville as double platinum sponsor and LandPro as platinum sponsor, before commending the event’s executive committee and volunteers from the educational and business communities.

“Workforce development is a team effort,” he said. “We know that often the most important aspect of the region’s competitiveness is the quality of the workforce. And with an educated and skilled workforce that businesses can tap into to sustain their operations, the GLOW region will meet the needs of companies and communities.”

Suozzi said the area’s youth are talented, and need to learn about career exploration prior to graduating because it would be “too costly and too late” after that.

He noted that participants at the career day will experience first-hand activities associated with careers in agriculture, skilled trades like welding, bricklaying, electrical wiring, heavy equipment operation and “advance manufacturing that tie into our number one program that we just announced at the Genesee Valley Partnership (BOCES) in electromechanical.”

“(It’s) the number one program in New York State, and we’re excited about that,” he said.

Others involved in making the career fair happen, who spoke during the 30-minute presentation today, are as follows:

Karyn Winters, Genesee County Business/Education Alliance director:

“GLOW With Your Hands is providing students with great pathways to a strong network of programs to guide their growth. Businesses have been tremendously supportive of this mission and also provide great jobs.

“With the BEA, I get first-hand the excitement that kids have working with their hands. We just finished out summer career exploration camps this year, and with GLOW With Your Hands even more students will have the opportunity to see various construction trades that will be at this event.

“Trades and many companies offer apprenticeship programs that can result in workers acquiring highly sought-after skills.  Live demonstrations and start the recruitment process for their next generation of workers.”

Molly Huangs, LandPro Equipment (John Deere distributor) marketing manager:

“It has been an amazing experience to see organizations from four counties work together in collaboration to promote career trades in our area. It is also truly been incredible to see so many companies offer support as well as investing financially.

“Being able to promote to our youth the incredible opportunities and careers available right here in our four-county region is critical to many businesses, including our own.

She said LandPro’s technicians’ career paths they have chosen allow them to “feel fulfillment at the end of every day.”

“That is the message that we as the GLOW With Your Hands career fair committee is working to get to our youth and their families. A career in trades offers our youth to work hard, learn, continue education and provide a lasting and lucrative career that can combine passion with success.”

Angela Grouse, Livingston County Chamber and Livingston Education Alliance director:

“Students with a wide array of interests and abilities will have the opportunity to explore today’s world of work. Hands-on interaction with over 40 vendors from agriculture, advanced manufacturing, skilled trades and food production industries will support students in discovering amazing career opportunities, featuring good pay, competitive benefits and upward mobility that exist right here in our own backyards.”

She said she hears from businesses daily on the challenges of finding qualified staff, as well as the talent pipeline and skills gaps, and the importance of workforce development.

“They are asking how they can connect and share opportunities, and develop the next generation of employees. The answer is right here at GLOW With Your Hands.”

Jay Lazarony, GLOW Workforce Development Board executive director:

He thanked the sponsors and the “army of volunteers that will ascend upon the fairgrounds in just four short weeks.”

“It is no secret that there is a strong demand among employers to replace retiring workers and in some instances, the need is immediate – especially businesses that require specific skills … It’s important to note that a significant portion of these jobs do not require a four-year college degree.

“Training provided by these companies in our region’s workforce and educational organizations can result in someone starting a great career soon after graduation. How many of you would have liked that advantage when you were just graduating from school?”

Assemblyman Steven Hawley:

Hawley mentioned that in 2019, Gov. Kathy Hochul, then New York’s lieutenant governor, participated in the GLOW With Your Hands event.

“I think we have a good partner in her, as well, to support these kinds of efforts,” he said.

Then, he brought up the abundance of employment opportunities around the state (as he did in a story on The Batavian on Sunday).

“We need folks to want to work again. We need them to have their hands on instead of their hands out. We want folks to be contributing members of this society that makes America what it was and hopefully will be again.”

Photo: Key contributors to the 2021 GLOW With Your Hands career exploration event are, from left, Jay Lazarony, Angela Grouse, Alexis Merle, Congressman Chris Jacobs, MaryEllyn Merle, Chris Suozzi, Assemblyman Steven Hawley, Karyn Winters, Molly Huangs. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

August 30, 2021 - 3:50pm
posted by Mike Pettinella in news, notify, Genesee Construction, GLOW With Your Hands.


The project manager for Genesee Construction of Dansville said her company couldn’t be happier about its contribution to this year’s special project for the GLOW With Your Hands career day on Sept. 28 at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

MaryEllyn Merle, speaking after today’s session to promote the event, said Genesee Construction will be building a handicap ramp leading to the entrance of the Laing Kennedy 4-H building at the fairgrounds.

“Rather than bringing something here and have it set up to show the kids a fake sidewalk, for example, why not do something for the fairgrounds at the same time?” she said, noting that her firm will be donating its time and materials for the ramp. “And what makes it better is that it is going to support 4-H because we’re super passionate about 4-H.”

She said masons will come to the fairgrounds the day before the event and form and prepare the slab.

“Then, on September 28th, we will have a couple of our masons on site who will pour and show the kids the technique of finishing the sidewalk. That’s the hands-on project,” she said.

Merle said the ramp will measure about 12 feet, and will feature a railing outside of the door.

In 2019, Genesee Construction poured an 81-foot sidewalk at the fairgrounds’ arena in conjunction with GLOW With Your Hands.

“This event gives us hope that we’re going to find the next generation of youth for these highly-skilled jobs,” she said.

Photo: Alexis Merle, left, executive assistant, and MaryEllen Merle, project manager, of Genesee Construction showing ramp that their company will be building. Photo by Mike Pettinella.

November 9, 2020 - 1:07pm

Press release:

The successful GLOW With Your Hands career exploration project hit a major milestone Nov. 2 with the launch of a new virtual platform to benefit all students in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming County (GLOW) Region.

A year after engaging with more than 800 students in hands-on experiences, GLOW With Your Hands Virtual (glowwithyourhandsvirtual.com) expands the experience with innovative, on-demand exploration of 34 careers across four growing sections of the regional economy.

“After seeing the direct impact GLOW With Your Hands produced in a single-day event in 2019, we are excited to bring careers in agriculture, food processing, advanced manufacturing and skilled trades directly to even more students,” said Karyn Winters, director of the Genesee County BEA, who led the project with Angela Grouse, director of Education to Employment Initiatives at the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Students who swung a hammer, laid a concrete walkway, practiced welding and dozens of other activities at GLOW With Your Hands 2019 can now have an even deeper connection to explore these careers,” Grouse said. “GLOW With Your Hands Virtual takes those experiences into the production facilities, job sites and farms, with meaningful results.”

Schools received early access to the GLOW With Your Hands Virtual website a week ago. The full website encourages the public, students, parents and educators to immerse themselves in the platform.

Careers highlighted include assembly and fabrication, welding, concrete and masonry, project manager, food packaging, veterinary technician, animal nutritionist, and drivers with commercial driver's licenses (CDL).

“Each career page includes an extensive ‘day in the life’ profile of professionals at great companies in the GLOW region, and an outline of the general duties, earnings and educational requirements,” Grouse said.

“Most importantly, students are shown a pathway of classes, clubs, volunteer opportunities and local training programs that they can pursue during middle and high school and beyond with training programs and post-secondary opportunities.”

In addition to the Genesee County BEA and Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce, volunteers from all participated in generating career information, filming and editing of videos with companies across all four counties, and preparing the website.

“We are already planning how to grow GLOW With Your Hands for the future,” Winters said. “In addition to continuing to expand the Virtual platform, all of our organizations are ready to assist our students, educators and businesses.”

GLOW With Your Hands Virtual was made possible by generous 2020 sponsors, led by Platinum Sponsor Genesee Construction; Gold Sponsors Clark Patterson Lee, O-AT-KA Milk Products, National Grid and Livingston Associates; Silver Sponsor USG Oakfield; Bronze Sponsors Batavia Rotary, Cargill, CY Farms, Koike Aronson, Pfisterer Lapp, Torrey Farms and the Workforce Development Institute; and General Sponsors Ed Hulme General Contracting and Stein Farms.

“The support that our volunteers, businesses, schools and sponsors all brought to our inaugural event continued throughout the past year and throughout the development of the GLOW With Your Hands Virtual project under Karyn and Angela’s leadership,” said Jay Lazarony and Chris Suozzi, GLOW With Your Hands cochairs, in a statement.

“The entire GLOW With Your Hands team invites you to explore glowwithyourhandsvirtual.com, and we look forward to seeing everyone in person very soon for the next hands-on event.”

Here are a few links to explore:

September 25, 2019 - 6:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in jobs, education, GLOW With Your Hands, video, workforce development.
Video Sponsor

Tuesday, at the fairgrounds, more than 800 students from schools throughout Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties had a chance to try out several skilled trades first hand in the region's first-ever "GLOW With Your Hands" event.

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