BATAVIA — The GLOW Workforce Development Board tasked with the work of serving job seekers and employers looking for workers, took time Thursday to celebrate businesses that have formed partnerships with it and people who have found jobs that fit them well.
The board honored one business or agency in each GLOW county: the Genesee County Economic Development Center in Genesee County, the Livingston County Health Department in Livingston, Virtual Polymer Compounds, LLC in Orleans and Advanced Rubber Products in Wyoming; four Participant Recognition Award recipients: Shannon Yauchzee in Genesee, Raychael Palmer in Livingston, Vincent Barrett in Orleans and Hannah Buchinger in Wyoming; and four Youth Recognition Award honorees: Aaron Barnum in Genesee, Angelita Clark in Livingston, Cameron Richardson in Orleans and Alan Smart in Wyoming.
“Our job is to meet the needs of area employers throughout our region and our upcoming workforce ... Not only that, but matching them up so that we get kids that are interested in filling these jobs in the future,” said board Chairperson Norb Fuest. “That’s what, really, the Workforce Development Board does.”
Fuest reflected on one of the events this year that brought area employers and students together: GLOW With Your Hands, which took place in late September at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.
“What this really does is it introduced them (students) to different avenues and occupations that are dearly needed by many companies in this region and have that matched up so they do get vocational education,” he said.
GLOW BUSINESS RECOGNITION
Teresa Van Son of the Genesee County Job Development Bureau said some recipients were easy to choose.
“We work with so many wonderful businesses. We’re very blessed that they assist us in helping our customers,” Van Son said. “This year, when we started looking, there was no doubt that it should be the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC).”
Van Son said the Genesee County Career Center appreciates the efforts the GCEDC has made to expand partnerships, identify new services, align resources and collaborate on delivering training service to ensure employers have access to a skilled workforce while providing opportunities for job seekers.
The Livingston County Health Department, with an annual budget of $16 million, has nearly 100 public employees in the community, Tracy Byrd of the county Office or Workforce Development noted in presenting the department with its award.
“During the unprecedented times of a global pandemic, Livingston County’s Department of Health stepped up and answered the call to provide up-to-date, science-based information, data, testing and vaccinations for the residents of the county,” Byrd noted. “Normal operations had to be put on hold while their staff worked diligently to adjust to new and extensive responsibilities and duties. Recognizing that Workforce Development was in a unique position to help, the DOH utilized our resources to host youth who were interested in science and health care fields, to work in the vaccine clinic.”
The youth were trained in several areas of the clinic, Van Son said.
“This made their tenure there extremely valuable, not only for the DOH, but also for the youth,” she said.
Virtual Polymer Compounds, LLC, NY of Medina has supplied high-quality fiberglass products such as shelters, ducts, fans, manholes and more to municipal water and wastewater facilities, government organizations and residential and industrial customers, both nationally and internationally, noted Kelly Kiebala of the Orleans County Job Development Agency, in introducing the company.
“Despite the pandemic, Virtual Polymer has continued operating its manufacturing facility in Medina, in no small part due to the hardworking, committed workforce it has consistently developed,” she noted. “While not new to accessing services through the Workforce Development system, VPC is a new partner in the GLOW workforce development area, working together with the Orleans County Job Development Agency to implement several on-the-job trainings for the first time at its Medina facility.”
Advanced Rubber Products, located in the town of Wyoming, has been operating for over 60 years, Beth Caton of Wyoming County Community Action (WCCA) said in introducing ARP. The contract manufacturer provides development assistance, production and support services for molding of custom parts in rubber, silicone and other elastomer materials.
ARP, in Wyoming, gives career opportunities to job seekers and youth entering the workforce.
GLOW PARTICIPANT RECOGNITION
Genesee County award recipient Shannon Yauchzee, who had not worked for several years after a disabling back injury when she was a certified nursing assistant (CNA), trained in phlebotomy and found a job at United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia. She said school was a big help, giving her a sense of structure that has carried over to her work environment.
Livingston County recipient Raychael Palmer, through the county Office of Workforce Development, participated in a paid work experience at the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at the county Department of Health.
“When a local business, Arkema, contacted the adult counselor to ask if she knew of any job seekers that would be a good fit for a laboratory technician position, the counselor consulted the rest of the staff, and Raychael’s name immediately came up,” Byrd said. The company hired her.
Orleans County recipient Vincent Barrett took a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)-A refresher course with concentration on his backup skills and continued to apply for Over-the-Road (OTR) driving positions. He applied for an OTR position with DOT Transportation, Inc. DOT gave him a start-date of Sept. 27 and he remains employed with the company today, Workforce Investment noted.
Wyoming County recipient Hannah Buchinger, who came to Community Action for help in February 2020, applied for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) position in the health care field. She began her training the next month and graduated in May 2021. She now works at United Memorial Medical Center as a surgical technician.
GLOW YOUTH RECOGNITION
Aaron Barnum, the Genesee County honoree, was presented by Jeff Young of county Job Development Services, in presenting Barnum, said Barnum is currently working at Arc and he loves his job.
“The work experience afforded him the opportunity to see what work was like and to learn the beginning skills of the maintenance trade. It showed him what hard work can do for you and how it can pay off. He has a job he enjoys and a local employer benefited by gaining an employee they can train in his career. He not only has his foot in the door of a job he truly appreciates but this is the start of a career that can lead to so many opportunities for Aaron,” Young said.
Angelita Clark, Livingston County recipient, presented by Kate Hilfiker of the county Office of Workforce Development, earned her Regents High School diploma in June. During her final high school summer, she took college prep classes through the Educational Opportunity Program, studied for the Accuplacer Exam and took the time to connect to Access & Accommodation Services at Genesee Community College (GCC) to ensure she has equal access,” noted Hilfiker. “She started college in September and is on track to be following her goal to become a nurse!
“Angelita worked hard on her college applications and asked for help when needed. She also connected with the NYS Adult Career and Continuing Education Services and Vocational Rehabilitation and worked with her high school guidance counselor to ensure the college applications and financial aid were completed by deadlines.”
Cameron Richardson, the recipient for Orleans County,
Richardson is employed part-time, 25 hours per week, at Community Action in Albion.
He then applied to the new Boxcar Apartments in Albion, said Peter Anderson of the county Job Development Agency. Upon submission of his application and reference checks, Cameron was approved. Cameron is currently living on his own and continues his employment through Community Action.
Anderson said Richardson had done a work experience with Community Action and was doing well.
“Community Action stated that Cameron was doing great and they would like to hire him after his work experience through the youth program,” Anderson said, noting that this led to Richardson’s current job with Community Action.
Alan Smart, the youth award recipient for Wyoming County, completed an application for Advanced Rubber Products. From there, he interviewed and was set up with a paid work experience as a trim and packaging operator. This position allowed him again to prove his work ethic and dependability, which led to him being hired on unsubsidized shortly after he completed his 200 hours and turned 18. Alan is now a full-time employee of Advanced Rubber Products and is currently working on obtaining his driver’s license, along with potential advancement within ARP.
Matt Dussault, who presented Smart with the award, read a letter to Smart.
“After receiving the news of your hire, I reflected back on how far you had come from that kitchen table where we sat down for the first time four years ago,” Dussault read. “Although it may have taken you some time to find yourself in the working world, you demonstrated something that is lacking in the world today — people willing to commit.”