CASSADAGA - The Cassadaga Job Corps Academy celebrated the achievement of 48 students who participated in commencement exercises on Wednesday afternoon at the Academy. The Academy gym was filled with jubilant family, friends and staff, many of whom supported the class along their journey to graduation.
While enrolled at the Academy the young men and women completed training to begin a career in healthcare or construction and many also earned their GED or high school diploma while there. Academy Director Ann Anderson greeted those in attendance and thanked the graduates and their families for their hard work, dedication and commitment to be successful.
Student Government Association President and member of the graduating class Shattiana Martin congratulated her classmates in her address. She asked that they continue to strive to be the best they can be and follow their hearts.
Pictured is Dunkirk Mayor Anthony J. Dolce with residents of Chautauqua County and the surrounding area who were among the graduates on Wednesday at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy
Acting as keynote speaker for this graduation ceremony was Mayor Anthony j. Dolce.
Dolce discussed his experience as a teacher, telling the class that "there are few better pleasures in life than receiving a good education, gaining a strong work ethic and sustaining the drive to always do better in life."
Dolce worked as an Academic Instructor at the Academy until he was elected mayor. He discussed his experience and reported that "I had the privilege of seeing what dedicated students can do when they put their minds to it. From a teacher's eyes I have seen you grasp new ideas, new systems of understanding and implement them in your life for the better. I have seen students come in with so little, and leave with so much."
He concluded by congratulating the class and wishing them luck on the road ahead.
Included in the commencement exercise were several awards and scholarships recognizing top performing students from all areas of the Academy. Recognized for top performance in Career Technical Training were Anthony Herrera, Carpentry; Matthew Saunders, CVS Pharmacy Technician; Jetta Moss, Certified Nurses' Aide; Shana Brown, Painting; Hector Martinez, Plumbing and Nicholas White, Electrical.
Students who are recognized for top performance in their trade are provided with a cash scholarship awarded by the Cassadaga Job Corps Community Relations Council. Jennifer Hazelton, academics manager, presented Ia Reh with overall top student for achievement in Academics while Lee Reh was awarded with the best overall student from the Social Development Department by Social Development Director Sylvia Swan.
Career Transition Services Manager Dayna Schultz recognized Hector Martinez for demonstrating outstanding employability skills.
The Good Citizen Award, presented by Academy Standards and Incentives Officer Richard Chase, was awarded to Shattiana Martin.
In 2012 the Academy saw 272 students depart with their diploma, training certificate or both. Students will enter the workforce, college, the military or a Job Corps Advanced Training program once they depart Cassadaga. Job Corps provides training with a focus on ensuring students develop both the technical ability as well as critical employability skills today's competitive workforce demands.
All students attend on a federal scholarship pending their eligibility as per Job Corps guidelines. While most students reside on campus local students may be considered for non-residential status.
For more information or to inquire about hiring Job Corps graduates please visit cassadaga.jobcorps.gov or call Adam Dolce, business and community liaison, at 716-595-4237.