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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.”

March 27, 2022 - 4:51pm
posted by Press Release in GCEDC, tech wars, workforce development, news.


By Chris Suozzi

This has been a great season for introductions – from Von Miller signing with the Bills to seeing over 650 students from our middle schools and high schools at the Tech Wars competition.

I can’t wait to see #40 on the field in Orchard Park. He’s a once-in-a-generation talent joining at just the right time.

But as I work with the growing companies across Genesee County, acquiring talent with a $120 million contract is not the model we follow. We don’t have to!

That’s because there are hundreds of STEM-focused students at our local schools graduating every year. At Tech Wars, they all showed their technical abilities, problem-solving skills, and excitement at taking on new challenges.

These students, and the younger kids that were at STEAM Jam that same day, need to know what opportunities are ahead of them.

In Genesee County, students have the option of great careers that come with a high quality of life and no college debt.

Multiple examples of those opportunities were mixed into the Tech Wars program and all the conversations around the halls.

Genesee Valley BOCES and the electro-mechanical trades program gave live demonstrations of their new mechatronics equipment. This is what our employers are using for re-training their teams, and that students are using to be ready for job shadows and internships the growing pre-apprenticeship program!

This simple activity created so much excitement. Younger students were amazed as graduating seniors showed off the mechatronics equipment, and the opportunity to take a cool hands-on tech learning opportunity.

These programs need repeated communication and momentum. Every year we’re excited to have a new class graduating, and a new group of students discovering what’s possible in the back half of their school years.

It was great to see Bill Hayes and Turnbull Heating & Air Conditioning at Tech Wars. Bill and his team are incredibly active in supporting workforce development. When students go through our technical training programs, there are so many skilled trades opportunities that open up. Having people like Bill ready to bring them on board is incredible.

There are also great construction and manufacturing career opportunities. La Fermière announced their project the day before Tech Wars, with plans to hire up to 135 workers in their first 5 years of operations. Many more workers will be involved in building their French yogurt manufacturing facility.

That long-term outlook is critical. At the GCEDC, we’re focused on continuing the momentum of aligning career paths from local companies to our students.

The partnership with our local companies’ workforce demands with custom programs has effectively bridged the gap between students’ career paths and developing skills employers need.

Closing out this school year, the custom programs are expanding.

Cornell in High School will start right after graduation. In less than a week, up to 40 students from Genesee County and surrounding communities will be trained by Cornell in the skills that will launch them into careers at companies like O-AT-KA Milk Products, Upstate Niagara, Yancey’s Fancy and HP Hood.

If students take advantage of this program, they’ll be well on their way to having the financial freedom to not only have a new #40 Miller jersey, but the new truck for the season-opening tailgate. I’ll see them there!

If that sounds good, I encourage students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors to contact me at [email protected] and to get ready for success.

Chris Suozzi is the Vice President of Business and Workforce Development at the Genesee County Economic Development Center

Video previously by The Batavian, previously published

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December 2, 2021 - 3:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, workforce development, business.


Aaron Barnum was among several honorees Thursday morning at Terry Hills by the Genesee-Livingston-Orleans-Wyoming Workforce Development Board for their achievements in workforce development.

For Barnum, he was honored as a participant who found success working for GO Art! and Genesee Orleans Arc, which eventually led to a permanent job at Arc.

Other awards in Genesee County was Business of the Year to GCEDC for the agency's efforts in workforce development and Shannon Yauchzee for program participation.  There were also awards to individuals, businesses, and agencies in the other three counties.

Chris Suozzi, VP of business development for GCEDC, also spoke with The Batavian about GCEDC's workforce development efforts, which include apprenticeship programs, job shadows, and the annual GLOW With Your Hands event at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

He also announced a new program set to begin in June called Cornell in High School.  GCEDC is seeking 40 students to participate, initially at Batavia HS and BOCES but other schools may be included to help achieve the goal of 40 participants.  Cornell will provide training, paid for by GCEDC at a cost of $500 per student, in dairy science and sanitation. The goal is to prepare career-minded students with knowledge and skills they can use to get work right after graduation in the county's food processing facilities. 

Each student who successfully completes the program will receive a certificate from Cornell

"That's kind of the things we're trying to do ... come up with new ideas that are meeting the needs of our employers, especially the big employers," Suozzi said.

March 30, 2021 - 12:34pm

From Jay Lazarony, executive director of the GLOW Workforce Development Board:

On Thursday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the NYS Department of Labor, GLOW Workforce Development Board, ACCES-VR, Rochester Works, and Finger Lakes Works will host the Finger Lakes Virtual Career Fair.

There will be a Preview Day starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 14.

The nine-county career fair currently has 132 businesses registered.

Job seekers are encouraged to preregister for this event here and be sure to upload your resume.

Attending Businesses

  • KanPak
  • Barilla America NY Inc.
  • Arc of Genesee Orleans
  • United States Gypsum
  • Kodak
  • O-AT-KA Milk Products
  • Arc of Monroe
  • LiDestri Food & Drink
  • IEC Electronics
  • Spectrum
  • Cantel
  • Scepter New York Inc.
  • Aerosafe Global
  • Li-Cycle Corp.
  • Career Start
  • DePaul
  • Optimax Systems
  • Thompson Health
  • Arc of Wayne
  • Six Flags Darien Lake
  • Catholic Charities
  • Wegmans Food Markets
  • First Student
  • The Home Depot
  • TruGreen
  • Nurse Connection Staffing
  • And more!

Job Openings Attending Businesses Seek to Fill

  • Maintenance Technician
  • School Bus Driver
  • Chemical Operator
  • Warehouse Associate
  • CNA/ LPN/ RN
  • CDL Driver
  • Home Health Aide
  • Cashier
  • Machine Operator
  • Production
  • General Labor
  • Customer Service
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Cook
  • Carpenter Apprentice
  • Security Officer
  • Forklift Driver
  • And more!

For more information email:  [email protected]

December 4, 2020 - 2:16pm

From Chris Suozzi (inset photo left), vice president of Business and Workforce Development at the Genesee County Economic Development Center:

"Coach Swaz." That’s how a lot of people know me, even in economic development circles.

A great team, like the Buffalo Bills and all of our partners at the Genesee County Economic Development Center, is built on talented players and motivated coaches. Building on our economic growth in Genesee County is achieved through teamwork.

For our youth, that coaching can build connections to careers that put them in a position where they can succeed quickly by tapping into their talents and passion. Through Genesee FAST (Food processing, Advanced manufacturing, Skilled trades, and Technician) we can mentor, educate and train our youth for career opportunities with companies across the GLOW region. This allows us to move fast in helping companies with the job demands in their respective workplaces.

I want to reference a couple of examples of how this is being demonstrated. Graham Corporation recently purchased and installed a new welding simulator for the Batavia Career and Technical Education Center’s Metal Trades Program at Genesee Valley BOCES. It is a great example of how our growing companies are building connections with students in preparing the next generation of skilled welders. I applaud Graham Corporation’s vision and support of Genesee Valley BOCES.

Andrew Geyer’s welding students at the Batavia CTE are currently training on real world scenarios and are encouraged to get even more involved with youth apprenticeships. By taking the appropriate courses, participating in relevant activities and focusing on developing their skills we are providing students the playbook for success.

In 2019, more than 1,000 students, educators and guests participated in a single-day event at the Genesee County Fairgrounds – GLOW With Your Hands. In my role as cochair of GLOW With Your Hands along with GLOW Workforce Development Board Executive Director Jay Lazarony, we knew our entire volunteer team had to make a dramatic pivot for 2020 because of the pandemic. And we achieved success by going virtual.

Providing students with hands-on opportunities at the GLOW With Your Hands event last year was extremely impactful. Providing that same experience this year seemed like a monumental task, but we are reaching even more kids than last year making deeper connections with the launch of www.GLOWWithYourHandsVirtual.com

Karyn Winters, the director of the Genesee County Business Education Alliance, and Angela Grouse, director of education to employment initiatives for the Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce, are leading all of our volunteers across the GLOW region in this effort. They once again enlisted companies to turn a hands-on event into an on-demand platform for our students to pursue great career opportunities.

GLOW With Your Hands Virtual demonstrates the career pathways that our students can take in securing family sustaining jobs and, more importantly, remaining part of our community by staying here and raising their own families.

I encourage everyone who wants to see Genesee County continue to grow and prosper by putting our kids in a position to win, to please visit the GLOW With Your Hands Virtual website and start discussing these careers with our youth. You can be a great coach.

Coach Swaz’s Career of the Month: Welding

There are dozens of careers that we are encouraging parents to share with kids in middle school and high school using the GLOW With Your Hands Virtual website. This month, I recommend warming up with the welding profile and seeing how welder-fabricators succeed.

Below is a YouTube video about welders and welding at Oxbo International Corp. in Byron, courtesy of the GCEDC.

October 1, 2020 - 5:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in workforce development, kathy hochul, UMMC, video, batavia, news.
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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited UMMC on Wednesday to announce the hospital will receive a $200,000 state workforce development grant to help people enter the nursing career. The grant is part of an $18 million statewide project announced yesterday by the governor's office as part of Workforce Development Awareness Week.  

Press release from the governor's office:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that, during Workforce Development Awareness Week, New York State has been awarded an $18 million federal grant to fund educational opportunities that train New Yorkers for in-demand jobs, support entrepreneurs, and help small businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

New York was one of just eight states to receive the funding -- made available through the CARES Act -- and received the most of any state that was awarded a grant. 

"The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and as we continue to fight against this deadly virus, we must also respond to the economic devastation it has caused," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "With millions of Americans out of work, we must use every resource available to train New Yorkers to compete -- and succeed - in this difficult economic situation.

"Our workforce is the bedrock of our economy, and I know that this funding will help bridge the gap between education and industry, allowing us to build back better by uplifting both individuals looking for jobs and small businesses across the state."  

"We are making success accessible ensuring New Yorkers have the training and skills they need to seek new jobs and opportunities as we continue to battle this pandemic," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Our ongoing workforce development initiative is supporting efforts to improve the economic security of women, youth and other groups that face significant barriers by making job placement more inclusive and leaving no New Yorker behind.

"We are sending a clear message to New Yorkers that they will have the training and skills they need to succeed as we build back better, smarter and stronger for the future."

The New York State Department of Labor will partner with the Office of Workforce Development, Empire State Development, New York's ten Regional Economic Development Councils, the State University of New York, and the City University of New York to allocate the federal grant funding on programs that support New York's continued economic recovery. 

Educational programs will focus on developing the skills needed to succeed in emerging growth industries like tech, logistics, and advanced manufacturing, and supporting entrepreneurs. New York's multipronged approach will include four elements:

1) Education for Hard-Hit NYC: In New York City, which was among the worst-hit COVID-19 communities, the CUNY system will assist in training residents with the digital skills needed for in-demand sectors such as data analytics, cybersecurity, advanced logistics/supply chain, digital marketing and communications, and software development. 

2) "Stay Near, Go Far" at SUNY: At 30 community colleges across the State, SUNY will leverage its existing "Stay Near, Go Far" initiative to train New Yorkers in high growth industries, including technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing, and provide them with the entrepreneurial skills needed to open their own businesses.

3) Entrepreneurship Boot Camps: Building on its existing resources, Empire State Development will host a series of intensive workshops and boot camps to train entrepreneurs and small business owners on how to run their own business during - and after - the pandemic. 

4) Industry Focus, Regional Results: The Department of Labor will issue a competitive Request for Proposals and work with New York State's 10 Regional Economic Development Councils to identify industry-driven programs that either train job seekers to meet current local employment needs or are designed to address future economic and workforce development needs.

January 20, 2020 - 2:01pm

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced last week that 61 New York State businesses, community colleges and community-based organizations will receive funding for workforce development totaling $3.4 million as part of the state's historic $175 million Workforce Development Initiative.

Professional training is expected to provide 2,464 New Yorkers with in-demand skills. Grant funds are provided by the Department of Labor, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and The State University of New York. Since launching in May, nearly $6.5 million has been awarded through the Workforce Development Initiative.

"These awards will help ensure that thousands of workers across the state are not only prepared for the jobs of today, but are ready to take on the jobs of tomorrow," Governor Cuomo said. "New York's workforce must adapt to the rapidly changing, modern economy and the Workforce Development Initiative will give our workers the edge they need to stay competitive."

"Investing in workforce development is essential to provide New Yorkers with the skills they need for the jobs of the future," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "In order to keep up with the needs of the labor market, New York must lead the way to train workers in advanced manufacturing, health care, and energy to close the skills gap and create a pipeline of talent for employers.

"This funding awarded as part of the Workforce Development Initiative targets resources to ensure job training is available in our communities for good paying jobs now and in the future that will continue to move our economy forward."

New York's Regional Economic Development Councils play a key role in recommending applications for funding, based on regional economic needs and opportunities. Businesses and organizations from eight REDC regions receiving Workforce Development awards include:

  • Finger Lakes: Berry Global, Bonduelle Americas, Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, Creative Food Ingredients, Cutco Corporation, Harbec, Lifetime Assistance, Markin Tubing, McAlpin Industries, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Optimax, Orolia, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Park Ridge Nursing Home, Pfisterer Lapp, Prestolite Electric, Rochester General Hospital, Rochester General Long Term Care, Spectracom, University of Rochester Medical Center, Unity Hospital.

The professional training projects are supported by SUNY community colleges across the state, including: Adirondack, Broome, Corning, Dutchess, Fashion Institute of Technology, Genesee, Jamestown, Monroe, Nassau, North Country, Tompkins Cortland, and Westchester. Projects funded through NYS Department of Labor include sites in the Finger Lakes, Long Island and New York City. Projects funded through NYSERDA are all located in New York City.

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "SUNY's community colleges continue to be the hubs for job training and individualized education as we prepare our students to meet the needs of New York's employers. I applaud the Governor for continuing his deep commitment to our state's workforce to ensure that any employer looking for skilled workers can look no further than right here in New York."

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

September 10, 2019 - 3:31pm

Press release:

Genesee County Job Development Bureau is hosting a Job Fair from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at the One Stop Career Center, 587 E. Main St., Eastown Plaza, Suite 100, Batavia.

No RSVP or fee is required – just show up on Sept. 18th, dressed professionally, bring plenty of resumes, and put your best foot forward!

Whether you are hoping to find a fresh start, a better job, or a new career direction, job seekers will find a wealth of exciting opportunities at the Job Fair.

“We are excited to partner with the GLOW Workforce Development Board and NYS Department of Labor to bring employers and job seekers together,” said Teresa Van Son, director of the Genesee County Job Development Bureau.

Local employers will be here, from a variety of industry sectors, eager to hire for immediate openings in a wide range of fields. The job fair is open to the entire community.

“This opportunity connects workers with great employers looking to hire," Van Son said. "In line with our mission to help people discover their potential and support them in reaching their career goals and prosperity; while assisting businesses by providing driven and trained candidates to fill their needs, this job fair is a great way to connect face-to-face with employers."

For more information, please contact the Genesee County Career Center, at 585-344-2042 or [email protected]

March 8, 2019 - 7:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, news, notify, workforce development.


The keynote speaker today at the Genesee County Economic Development Center's annual meeting at Batavia Downs was Jeremy Bout, founder and CEO of Edge Factor.

It's an education resource company that makes video and training materials to help attract students to STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math -- fields and then guide them through a career path.

Bout said his life was changed as a teen when he was given access to advanced manufacturing tools that were really beyond what most 18-year-olds get access to while in training. That eventually led him to seek ways to make STEM careers more attractive for students and help bridge the gap between what today's employers need to hire and what careers young people are choosing.

"I realize I was one of the lucky ones," Bout said. "I was the one that came out of high school that didn't get lost in the shuffle. I found meaningful work and meaningful employment.

"I went on to study many different things but it was that opportunity with the real-world intersecting my education that gave me that gateway into my passion." 

Bout and his team make videos that tell the stories of how technology impacts lives. They also make highly engaging training videos that help young people prepare to enter the workforce.

"We want to use media and technology because there are new methods for a new generation," Bout said.



The Genesee Valley Education Partnership received GCEDC's Economic Development Partner of the Year Award.

GCEDC works with GVEP on workforce development in 22 school districts in the region, serving 24,000 students.

"For those of you who are here today, whether you're an educator, a legislator, or a business owner, business developer, or a board member, or whomever or whatever you represent, I think we all have one collective goal," said Kevin McDonald, district superintendent.

"And that is to make Genesee County and our region a great place to live, work and play. We hope our contributions will only provide opportunity and encouragement for our younger generations to make the choice to live, work and play in our community."


Assemblyman Steve Hawley spoke of the regulatory and tax challenges businesses and taxpayers face in New York but said in Western New York, we continue to have a positive outlook.

He also said not all of his colleagues in Albany obstruct business development. He noted that when Amazon decided to pull out of a planned second headquarters in Queens, he immediately put out a press release, and sent a letter to Jeff Bezos inviting Amazon to STAMP -- Science, Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Park -- in Alabama.

That action, he said, received some notable support in Albany, particularly from Crystal Peoples Stokes, the current majority leader.

"She went out of her way and walked up to me and said, 'I don't know if you saw it or not, but I put out a statement supporting you and supporting STAMP for Amazon to locate here in Western New York,' Hawley said. "That's a huge thing.

"So we're not giving up. We're going to tell people around this country and around the world that we're open for business."


State Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer said there is a new wind blowing through Albany, one that is much more focused on social issues and much less focused on taking care of business in New York.

One big example, he said, is the shuttled Amazon deal in Queens. Another is the push to extend prevailing wage provisions to private-sector economic development.

There's also more focus on things like voting rights and abortion. Albany is dealing with these issues at this point in the legislative session rather than what in past years has been the top focus -- the state budget.

"These are the things that are out there," Ranzenhofer said. "They were never really a concern. They were never going to happen. But they are happening each and every week in Albany and they are directly impacting this community. My message to you is that you have to, and we all collectively have to, be vigilant more so than in the past."


Steve Hyde touched on several activities of GCEDC during his remarks but especially STAMP -- noting the continued progress to make the site shovel ready for large, high-tech manufacturers and the state's continued support of the project.

"I never knew when I started this journey, actually in the fall of 2005 were the first steps, when I kind of started on this vision of trying to create a big, huge high-tech mega site to create better opportunities for kids," Hyde said. "I never knew that that was going to be a career-defining project."

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