Job Corps students shadow with local businesses and City of Dunkirk

CASSADAGA – Dun-kirk Dave was not the only one busy looking for his shadow in the last few days.

Businesses throughout the North County area and the City of Dunkirk teamed up with the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy on Monday to provide students from the Academy with a job shadowing experience as part of National 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.

“Every year this event lets our students get up close with people doing the types of jobs they want. It is a great opportunity for young people to learn what it takes to be successful and provides insight into someone else’s career pathway,” said Cassadaga Job Corps Business and Community Liaison Adam Dolce. He went on to thank all those who took part in this year’s event by saying “our students really felt welcomed and all involved reported a positive experience. This type of educational experience is only possible when the businesses are willing to open up and take the time to mentor a young person.”

Employers hosting student shadows on Monday included the City of Dunkirk, Fredonia State Facilities and Maintenance Dept., BECC Electric, Gugino Heating and Plumbing, The Care Center, Meals on Wheels, CVS Pharmacy, Heritage Village, Sherwin Williams of Dun-kirk, Fredrickson’s Build-er’s Supply, and Citadel Services. Later in the week students will also visit Chautauqua Adult Day Care, Zehnder-Rittling, Bus-ter Brown Bean Co., Cus-imano’s Car Star and H Jacks Plumbing and Heating.

Students spent the day learning about the various businesses they visited and how others have pursued their professional interest and obtained success in their present career. 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. Many students shadow career areas that they are training for, others gain insight into careers they may only want to learn more about. One such student was Eddie Lewis, who shadowed Dunkirk Mayor Anthony Dolce. He was able to see first hand what goes into the day-to-day operations of municipal government and management.

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 Cindy Schnelzer, work-based learning coordinator, by calling 595-4296 or by email to schnelzer.cynthia@jobcorps.org

For additional information, you may also visit the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy on the web, cassadaga.jobcorps.gov.