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  • Writer's pictureJim Krencik

GLOW With Your Hands Highlights Workforce Development's Critical Role in Economic Growth

Economic development agencies in the Genesee Livingston Orleans and Wyoming County (GLOW) region encourage the growth of communities with assistance enabling businesses to retain and create jobs as well as make capital investment in their infrastructure.

These incentives help these businesses grow and stay competitive in a regional, state and global economy. An often-overlooked aspect of a region’s economic competitiveness is the quality of its workforce.

The full value of assistance provided by our organizations can be achieved only by also having an educated and skilled workforce that these businesses can tap into to sustain their operations.

That is why we are so excited by and supportive of the GLOW With Your Hands initiative that will take place in our region at the Genesee County Fairgrounds on September 24th. Our partners in this initiative include educational and workforce entities, as we all have a common interest in making sure our employers have access to quality workers and just as important, that residents in our region can find good paying, family sustaining jobs.

It’s no secret that the existing workforce is aging as the Baby Boom generation continues to retire. This is causing a strong demand among employers to replace these workers and in some instances the need is immediate, especially for businesses that require specific skills such as advanced manufacturing.

It’s important to note that a significant number of these jobs do not require a four-year college degree. Some positions only require a high school diploma and through training provided by these companies and workforce and education organizations certifications in some of these fields can result in someone being gainfully employed and in a successful career soon after graduation. Some employers will even provide tuition assistance so an employee can further his or her education.

In our conversations with some of the leading employers in the GLOW region, they are expressing the same level of excitement we have in bringing over 1,000 students GLOW With Your Hands. Not only can they provide live demonstrations of the type of work required for these jobs, but they can start the recruitment process for their next generation of workers.

Equally exciting will be the first-hand experience students will get to see through the various construction trades that will be at the event. The trades and many employers offer apprenticeship programs that can result in workers acquiring highly sought-after skills.

Employers are focused on the future of their respective workforces and rightfully so. However, through GLOW With Your Hands they are witnessing, and more importantly participating, in how as a region we are collaborating to provide a solution for their needs.

- Steve Hyde, President and CEO, Genesee County EDC; William Bacon, Director, Livingston County IDA; James Whipple, CEO/CFO, County of Orleans IDA; and Jim Pierce, Executive Director, Wyoming County IDA.


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