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Coachs Column: Boxcar Derbies Connect Youth to Skill Development
Accelerating as they hit the final stretch to cross the finish line, pairs of boxcar derby racers dipped their heads.
It was one of many lessons I was pleased to share with youth aged 7 -13 gained through a Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation-sponsored program.
70 racers and their families took up the challenge of building, designing, and perfecting their cars for a pair of fast-paced events – the August 26 BID Boxcar Derby in Batavia and the September 2 Labor Daze Boxcar Derby in Oakfield.
These events, and partners like the Batavia Business Improvement District and Oakfield Betterment Committee, create lifelong memories and demonstrate that through innovative workforce development programs, youth in Genesee County and surrounding communities develop through skill-building activities, career engagement, and training.
From Boxcar to Bootcamp
The pace of a boxcar derby matches the speed of our workforce development. We offer diverse tracks for our students, advancing them from pee-wee to pro levels, just like team sports.
See below how our racers can progress with programs reaching every age and multiple ability levels.
Ages 7 to 13 – Boxcar Derby
Ages 8 to 11 – STEAM Jam, a GCC Tech Wars program for 3rd to 5th grade students
Ages 12 to 15 – Camp Hard Hat, a weeklong building construction trades program.
Ages 13 to 18 – GLOW With Your Hands : Manufacturing and GLOW With Your Hands : Healthcare, mass career exploration festivals with hands-on demonstrations; GCC Tech Wars, an extended STEM challenge program
Ages 17 to 18 – Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeships, employer-matched job shadowing and co-ops; GV BOCES training in mechatronics, welding, precision machining, and building trades; Cornell in High School food processing training program, a three-day accelerated food & beverage training program
Ages 18 to 24 – Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Program, a six-week accelerated mechatronics training program