Interactive sessions offer practical soft skills training, career awareness and leadership development
The Greene County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) and Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), in partnership with Columbia-Greene Community College (C-GCC) and the Greene and Columbia County Chambers of Commerce have awarded a total of 12 certificates for the 2020 Junior Career Institute.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the graduation ceremony was held virtually on Saturday, Nov. 21. Providing congratulatory remarks were CEDC President and CEO Michael Tucker, C-GCC President Dr. Carlee Drummer, Art Omi Executive Director Ruth Adams, Greene County Economic Development and Planning Director Karl Heck and Greene County Chamber President Jeff Friedman.
2020 Junior Career Institute Graduates:
- Ally MacGiffert, Cairo-Durham Central School District
- James Mutinsky, Cairo-Durham Central School District
- Kellen Gibbs, Catskill Central School District
- Victoria Bucci, Greenville Central School District
- Katriana Corbett, Greenville Central School District
- Gwendolyn Glennon, Hunter-Tannersville Central School District
- Emily Pascucci, Hunter-Tannersville Central School District
- Caleb Lendo, Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School District
- Stephanie Sandleitner, Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School District
- Nicole Hilbert, Ichabod Crane Central School District
- Eva Nelson, Ichabod Crane Central School District
- Amya Anderson, Taconic Hills Central School District
Now in its fourth year, the Junior Career Institute is geared for high school juniors in Columbia and Greene counties, and focuses on career awareness, soft skills training and leadership development. Sessions include interactive and classroom instruction, mentors, guest speakers, and pre-recorded career videos featuring local employers.
The 2020 Institute included over 30 guest speakers and mentors:
Session 1: Professionalism & Work Ethic
- Amanda Way, The Bank of Greene County
- Jess Curley, Assistant Professor, C-GCC Medical Assistant
- Ed Smith, Assistant Professor, C-GCC Automotive
- Nicole Childrose, Division Co-Chair, C-GCC Automotive
Session 2: Employer Expectations
- Kimberly Williams, VP Operations, Williams Lumber
- Cody Rogers, Deputy, Greene County Sheriff’s Office
- Rebecca Preusser, Assistant Director of Workforce Development, C-GCC
- Christine Perry, Former President, Taconic Hills School Board
- Carl Nabozny, Media Coordinator, C-GCC
- Marline Martin, Executive Director, CREATE
Session 3: Job Applications & Resumes
- Myra Garcia, Sr. Specialist-Employee Engagement, Vail Resorts in Hunter, NY
- Amanda Colarusso, Human Resources Generalist, Ginsberg’s Foods
- Ruth Adams, Executive Director, Art Omi
- John Rutkey, VP Human Resources, Ginsberg’s Foods
Session 4: Workplace Etiquette & Customer Service
- Ryan Scott, General Manager, Pro Printers
- George Cooper, VP District Manager, Community Bank
- Linda Tripp, Program Leader, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia & Greene Counties
- Stephanie Forsyth, Thoroughbred Breeder
- Catherine Carlson, Director of Accessibility Services, CGCC
Session 5: Workplace Communications & Graduation
- Emily Haigh, Columbia County Department of Health
- Zachary McVicker, [s]Cube Inc.
- Kayla Duntz, The Bank of Greene County
- F. Michael Tucker, President and CEO, Columbia Economic Development Corporation
- Dr. Carlee Drummer, President, Columbia-Greene Community College
- Ruth Adams, Executive Director, Art Omi
- Karl Heck, Director, Greene County Economic Development and Planning
- Jeff Friedman, President, Greene County Chamber of Commerce
Pre-Recorded Employer Interview Videos:
- John Rutkey, Ginsberg’s Foods, Hudson, NY
- Joseph Wolodkevich, Intelligent Technology Solutions, Coxsackie, NY
- Patrice Magliocca, McDonald’s, Greene County, NY
- Martin Silver, Dairy Queen, Ghent, NY
“The Junior Career Institute provides the soft skills training that employers are increasingly saying are just as important as academic achievements or technical ability,” stated Junior Career Institute Program Director Carol Wilber. “Whether students plan to embark on a college education or enter the workforce after high school, the Institute offers an incredible opportunity for students to be coached by a dynamic group of local professionals, and have a valuable Internship experience.”
“It was a privilege to work with such enthusiastic and motivated high school students and the local professionals who served as mentors and guest speakers. I am looking forward to seeing the students continue to build on their strengths and the skills developed in our practice sessions as they undertake their micro-internships in January,” stated Kelly Ann Radzik, Director of Career Success, Columbia-Greene Community College.
Columbia-Greene Community College President Carlee Drummer, Ph.D., stated “Columbia-Greene Community College is proud to be a partner in this vital initiative that motivates high school juniors to begin thinking about various career options. As the next generation of leaders, these students will play a key role in making a difference, not only in Columbia and Greene Counties, but also in the world.”
Greene County Deputy County Administrator Warren Hart stated, “Greene County is proud to have been a sponsor of the Junior Career Institute, and believes that creating opportunities for our youth to grow and develop is critical to our future success. Greene County looks forward to continuing this successful partnership, and congratulates the nine Greene County students that completed the 2020 program.”
Greene County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Karl Heck stated, “The first two-county Junior Career Institute was a success for both the students and the mentors. Every opportunity that we have to talk about our economic success stories is an opportunity for networking and potential growth, particularly with our young people who will drive our businesses forward into the future. Being able to continue to grow and network in the current environment is a testimony to our resilience.”
Greene County Chamber of Commerce President Jeffrey Friedman stated, “The Junior Career Institute continues the Greene County Chamber’s commitment to furthering the leadership and education of our youth through committed partnerships between our schools and our business community. We could not be more pleased with program as the next step in this endeavor following on the success of our B.E.S.T. program and the continued education programs in our schools.”
“CEDC is proud to collaborate with our Columbia and Greene County partners in further coordinating the Junior Career Institute, working directly with high school students to enhance their career awareness and leadership skills,” said CEDC President and CEO F. Michael Tucker.
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Board President Derick LaTorre stated, “The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is proud of this year’s class of Graduates. This program provides valuable skills training and is of tremendous value to our member businesses. Thank you to everyone who participated this year in making the Institute so successful!”
To learn more about the 2020/21 Junior Career Institute, please contact Carol Wilber at Columbia Economic Development Corporation (518-828-4718 x103) or Kelly Ann Radzik at Columbia-Greene Community College (518.828.4181, extension 3343).
The Greene County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) was founded in 2019 in order to promote and provide opportunities for additional and maximum employment, to improve and maintain job opportunities, to provide instruction or training to individuals to improve or develop their capabilities for employment, to improve or develop their capabilities for employment, and to combat community deterioration and blight in Greene County, New York. For additional information on GCEDC, please visit our website at greenecountyedc.com, or call 518.719.3290.
Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), the leading economic development organization in Columbia County, is committed to strengthening the county’s tax base through economic development and job creation while maintaining the quality of life so desired by the people who live and work here. For more information about CEDC’s programs and services, visit www.columbiaedc.com or call 518.828.4718.