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Coach's Corner: Control Your Destiny with Youth Apprenticeships

Fri, Jan 5th 2024 09:00 am
The end of the NFL regular season brings words that I like to put into practice as an economic and workforce professional. None is better than the cliché than a team is “controlling its own destiny.”
It’s a reward and a challenge.
You’ve earned that control by outperforming your peers. You need to keep winning, and the next step of your journey is assured.
That’s also what makes this part of our workforce development calendar so energizing. Youth apprenticeships reward our most engaged students by giving them their pick of career opportunities.
Just ask Bailey Burdett, a current HP Hood technician and former Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program electro-mechanical technician graduate who has earned significant hours of related training and instruction that is applied to his apprenticeship coursework. 
And although he needs to complete four years of on-the-job experience, he only needs to take four more classes during his apprenticeship to become a Journey Worker electro-mechanical technician. 
Similar to players emerging as key playoff contributors, Bailey is getting his reps in as he grows, and the best part is that like NFL practice squad players, he and others in apprenticeship programs still get paid on the way to the big time. 
Students can join the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program during their junior year of high school where they will job shadow at various employers throughout the region including Tambe Electric, Oxbo, Nortera and others. 
This is where students observe the type of work that is performed daily, taking in the bustling and robust atmosphere of the advanced manufacturing industry. 
It’s like you’re the rookie who was just drafted and are trying to find your way in the professional world. You get to take in practice and have an older veteran take you under their wing. This process is all about asking questions and figuring out where you fit in. Taking this portion of the job seriously is essential if you want to succeed in this evolving industry. 
The real fun begins after your job shadow. 
In your senior year, after you receive in-class instruction using state-of-the-art mechatronics equipment at Genesee Valley BOCES in the morning, you will go to your designated employer to receive paid on-the-job training. 
This is your time to shine! You get to showcase everything you learned the past year and prove to your peers and teammates why you belong in your industry. 
After the youth apprenticeship program, you will have received up to 288 hours of training, equivalent to two years of apprenticeship-related training and instruction. 
You’ll be well on your way to completing your apprenticeship hours required to work as a technician, and getting a head start against the competition. 
Be like Bailey and the dozens of graduates that have completed these programs. Take your career into your own hands!
Coach SwazZ is ready to help, to answer your questions, and to make a connection for you. Contact me at 585-343-4866 or [email protected].
- Chris “Coach SwazZ” Suozzi is the Vice President of Business & Workforce Development at the GCEDC.