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  • Writer's pictureJim Krencik

Rep. Chris Jacobs Leads Roll-Out for Return of GLOW With Your Hands

BATAVIA – Business and education leaders were joined by US Representative Christopher L. Jacobs today to unveil details for the 3rd Annual Glow With Your Hands Expo which will take place at the Genesee County Fairground on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.

It is anticipated that over 700 students from 30 school districts across Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming (GLOW) counties are anticipated to attend GLOW With Your Hands, with over 40 local companies providing hands-on experiences for potential career opportunities in the skilled trades, advanced manufacturing among other sectors.

“In just a few weeks, over 700 students will here at the Genesee County Fairgrounds where they will experience first-hand activities associated with careers in agriculture, manufacturing, food and beverage production, electro-mechanical technicians, heavy equipment operation, building trades and many others,” said Chris Suozzi, GLOW With Your Hands co-chair. “It’s going to be a great experience for our kids as they will get to see and experience the great careers opportunities with companies that are based right in their own backyard.”

The event is sponsored by organizations across the GLOW Region, including manufacturing, agriculture and construction employers, economic and workforce development organizations.

“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 so many students,” said Karyn Winters, Director of the Genesee County Business Education Alliance. “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.”

Over 40 companies and businesses across the GLOW region will be participating in GLOW With Your Hands. Many of them are recognizing the future demands of their respective workforces need to be addressed now, especially as the current generation of workers are retiring or planning retirement in the next few years.

“Whether our technicians are working on a residential mower for a homeowner, a skid steer for a builder or a combine or baler for one of our farmers the career path they’ve chosen allows them to feel fulfillment at the end of every day,” said Molly Haungs, LandPro Equipment Marketing Manager. “That is the message that we, as the GLOW With Your Hands Career fair committee we are working to get to our youth and their families. A career in trades offers opportunity for our youth to work hard, learn, continue education and provide a lasting and lucrative career that can combine passion with success.”

GLOW With Your Hands committee members emphasized how the Expo is aligned with the needs of employers and the GLOW region’s students.

“I know I can speak for my County and I am sure other Chambers in the GLOW regarding that we hear almost everyday from our members about the importance of workforce development,” said Angela Grouse, Director of Education to Employment programs at the the Livingston County Chamber & Livingston County Education Alliance. “We know some of them are thinking – where am I going to find my next generation of workers? On September 28th, the answer will be right here in front their own eyes.”

The kick-off event also unveiled that Double Platinum sponsor Genesee Construction will lead 700 participating students in building an accessible ramp at the entrance to the Kennedy Building at the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

“I cannot stress enough how critically important it is for our business to be able to identify the next generation of the workforce who possess these skills. The future of our company depends on it,” said Mary Ellyn Merle, Genesee Construction Project Manager.

Over 1,000 students, educators, volunteers and vendors participated in the inaugural GLOW With Your Hands event in 2019. The September 28th event will once again highlight the successful and in-demand careers available in the GLOW Region.

“It’s important to note that a significant number of these jobs do not require a four-year college degree. Training provided by these companies and our region’s workforce and education organizations can result in someone starting a great career soon after graduation,” said Jay Lazarony, executive director, GLOW Workforce Development Board. “Employers are concerned about the future of their respective workforces and rightly so. However, through GLOW With Your Hands they are witnessing, and more importantly participating, how as a region we are collaborating to provide a solution about these concerns.”


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