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Coach's Corner: We have the Best High School Training Program in NY

Fri, Oct 15th 2021 08:00 am

How do you succeed? By being ready to succeed.

The proof is clear. Look at what happened last weekend. The Bills proved that they are ready to succeed on the biggest stages to everyone on the field in Kansas City, and they proved it to everyone in Bills Mafia.

Excellence in training and preparation made it possible. A great game plan, and a great team show up with consistency and effectiveness.

Looking back when the Bills were in training camp, I was excited by what I saw in another group of talented future stars.

The kids in our first ever Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camp showed in six weeks that they were ready to succeed. Every student graduated this summer into either a mechatronics apprenticeship at a GLOW region company or follow-on training in Monroe Community College’s mechatronics program.

One of our graduates is already making $28 an hour. That’s $60,000 a year with no student debt!

That kind of success will be repeated time and time again. It’s because the Genesee Valley BOCES campus in Batavia has the best program in New York for high school students to learn electrical, mechanical and mechatronics skills.

Students in Genesee County have the opportunity in the 11th and 12th grades to be in labs with the best equipment, the best training programs, and best pre-apprenticeship experiences.

With our partners, Genesee County invested $700,000 to support the deployment of Amatrol training systems that are in the electro-mechanical lab. Students use these modules and lessons to learn the core aspects of mechatronics and then experience real life scenarios that test their skills and readiness.

Three dozen students in this year’s Batavia BOCES campus’ electro-mechanical trades program have already gotten their hands on this equipment.

The opportunity to scale this program up is incredible. The modules were also used by 700 students at GLOW With Your Hands. They are already being used by Genesee County companies for fast training sessions with employees.

The equipment students are training with in Batavia is the same used at MCC in Rochester and the Northland Workforce Training Center in Buffalo. These are the top training programs in our region. And this equipment corresponds directly with the equipment used across all kinds of in-demand careers.

But just like the Bills’ training center, this equipment needs a user to take full advantage of it. Parents, this is what your kids were building toward in their 4th grade STEM program. Those cool activities that made them excited about school and science, this is how to apply them for a great career.

Let’s take that learning that they’ve accomplished in middle school and apply that learning with in-depth experiences.

Electro-mechanical skills are needed in the manufacturing of everything we make in Genesee County, from dairy products to advanced equipment. These skills will soon be rewarded by companies like Plug Power, which will be making the green hydrogen to power clean logistics at STAMP.

The students using this equipment now will soon be starting job shadows and co-ops. By the summer they’ll be in pre-apprenticeships. By next fall, they could be earning enough to pay for your tickets to see the Bills raise a banner and start a title defense!

If you are interested in how to bring yourself or your student onto this pathway, please contact me. Coach Swazz will connect you to the right people, programs, and careers.

- Chris Suozzi is the Vice President of Business & Workforce Development at the Genesee County Economic Development Center