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Organizers getting ready for career exploration event for local high schoolers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 September 2019 at 10:07 am

1,200 students expected for ‘GLOW With Your Hands’ on Sept. 24

Photos courtesy of Kelly Kiebala: Organizers with next Tuesday’s GLOW With Your Hands event at the Genesee County Fairgrounds assemble hard hats on Monday for students to wear during work simulations.

BATAVIA – The Genesee County Fairgrounds will welcome 1,200 students on Tuesday to see local options for careers in the trades, advanced manufacturing and agriculture.

The first-time “GLOW With Your Hands” career exploration event will include about 50 interactive sessions.

The event will include 24 schools from the four rural GLOW counties, as well as Roy-Hart in Niagara County. Organizers say Lyndonville and Kendall are sending students for hands-on activities with trades such as welding, bricklaying, electrical wiring, heavy equipment operation, advanced manufacturing and other jobs.

Agriculture, for example, is increasing high-tech in utilizing software for running equipment, and tracking inputs and yields.

The event wants to highlight careers that are high-paying and in demand for local businesses in Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties.

Unemployment rates are currently very low locally and nationally. There is a demand for workers across the country, said Jim Whipple, executive director of the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

Many businesses will be reluctant to do an expansion or commit to a community if they don’t think there are enough skilled and dedicated workers.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul attended a news conference on Aug. 7 to help promote the event and encourage local school districts to send students for the career exploration.

Hochul said at the news conference that for far too long guidance counselors and parents have emphasized college as the prime path to success for high schoolers. Hochul said that often leads to piles of debt for students and families, while not addressing workforce needs in their hometowns.

“I want to make sure these doors are open to lift young people out of poverty,” Hochul said about the careers in trades. “You don’t need a four-year degree for success.”

The hard hats are ready for the students.

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