CASSADAGA - As the groundhog was searching for his shadow, Cassadaga Job Corps Academy and businesses from throughout Chautauqua County joined thousands of employers and students around the country who took part in Groundhog Job Shadow Day.
Since 1999, this initiative to engage students in the world of work has paired student "shadows" with "workplace mentors" to introduce students to the workplace and demonstrate the connection between academics, career training and career pathways. The goal of Groundhog Job Shadow Day is to match more than 1 million young people throughout the country with workplace mentors.
"Groundhog Job Shadow Day provides our students with the opportunity to learn what is really required to be successful in their chosen career pathway" said Cassadaga Job Corps Work Based Learning Coordinator Kathleen Grisanti. She went on to say, "We are very happy that several local companies have partnered with us this year to offer our students the chance to go out and see professionals in their industry hard at work."
Pictured above is Cassadaga Job Corps student Stephen Reid and his workplace mentor James Baron, electrician with Jamestown Board of Public Utilities. This is the third year that Baron has taken on a shadow from Job Corps.
Employers hosting student shadows this year include Jamestown Board of Public Utilities, Fredonia State Facilities and Maintenance Dept., BECC Electric, Gugino Heating and Plumbing, Buster Brown Bean Co, STEL's Southern Tier Meadows, The Care Center, Absolut of Dunkirk, CVS Pharmacy of Falconer, Heritage Village, Sherwin Williams of Dunkirk, NRG, Zehnder-Rittling of Buffalo and Fredrickson's Builder's Supply.
Southern Tier Meadows Administrator Melissa Q. Talbett said, "We really enjoyed having Erica, Hillary and Cher here at Southern Tier Meadows. They were able to shadow with our food service manager, resident care coordinator and other staff. They watched procedures in our medication room, helped with our lunch service and gave staff a hand going over a few resident rooms. They even helped with a staff activity: they made valentines with some of our residents. It was a pleasure having them here. They were really great sports and eager assistants. Southern Tier Environments for Living (STEL, Inc.) would be lucky to have any one of these young women join our staff."
Students spent the day learning about the various businesses they visited and how others have pursued their professional interest and obtained the career they are in. Many students were given an opportunity to see and experience first hand how to do different tasks, helping them to solidify their own decisions about the direction their career may follow.
Certified Nurse Aide student Hillery Berggren said, "It gave me a chance to gain experience and learn that the skills and knowledge I have can allow me to pursue a career outside a nursing home. I loved Southern Tier Meadows, the place and the people were amazing."
The Cassadaga Job Corps Academy provides Career Technical training to youth age 16-24 to help ensure they are developing the skills and talents required by employers in today's job market. Students in need of an educational diploma will work to obtain a GED or High School Diploma while enrolled as well.
All students who meet eligibility requirements and are committed to a rigorous training program attend on a full federal scholarship. The Academy partners with businesses throughout the year to offer internships and experiences to help further develop the skills of the students they train.
For more information on how a business can partner with the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy please contact Kathleen Grisanti, work based learning coordinator, by calling 595-4296 or by email to Grisanti.firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information you may also visit the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy on the web, cassadaga.jobcorps.gov.