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September 14, 2022 - 2:02pm
posted by Press Release in GLOW With Your Hands, GCEDC, workforce development, news.
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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 25, 2022 - 4:17pm
posted by Joanne Beck in news, BOCES, batavia, GCEDC, workforce development.


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.

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.

August 15, 2022 - 12:28pm
posted by Press Release in BOCES, GCEDC, workforce development, news.


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


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.
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.

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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