Winters: Business-Education Connectors, GLOW With Your Hands Help Youth Fill Skills Gap in Workforce
Updated: Nov 2
The workplace continues to change and evolve as rapidly as new technologies are being developed and implemented. This is especially true in the advanced manufacturing and agribusiness sectors. The challenge for employers is find workers who have the skills to meet the demands of the workplace, and for students to be inspired to grow their skills and connect with pathways for success.
The Genesee County Business Education Alliance and our partners are making progress through various partnerships and initiatives to ensure students and businesses are meeting and exceeding these challenges.
For instance, the Genesee County Business-Education Alliance, Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) and Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) recently partnered with Cypress Creek Renewables to engage Edge Factor in bringing its platform to local schools. This initiative will help us make progress in addressing the workforce development challenges faced by Western New York’s companies, schools, and families in the renewable energy sector and other growing industries.
Through Edge Factor’s streaming video platform, which is stocked with videos and interactive tools, we are providing students with a unified method of connecting them to STEM and skilled trades careers.
Another example is through the GLOW With Your Hands initiative, in which our organization is partnering with other education and economic development entities so that businesses across the region can showcase the types of careers that are available in their respective field. They will have a receptive audience of 1,000 students who will have the opportunity to be exposed to the jobs these businesses need to fill now and in future years.
Through the years, we have had many discussions with the business community about how they are going to meet their future workforce needs. Their response to GLOW With Your Hands has been nothing less that enthusiastic! This has been demonstrated by the tremendous participation in the event by the business community.
Filling the skills gap in the workplace in this day and age is an enormous challenge. It requires community collaboration among school districts, businesses and economic development agencies. The siloed approach of the past is simply not viable. The good news is that there is collaboration among these entities in the GLOW region and it will be showcased on September 24th at the Genesee County Fairgrounds!
- Karyn Winters is director of the Genesee County Business Education Alliance.