Genesee Boosts Outreach to Local Business Community with 500K+, Board Hears

Over the last 90 days, Genesee Community College's BEST Center has helped obtain grant commitments totaling $516,800 that will increase employee training services to the region's business community, Barbara Shine, Director of Business Skills Training, reported to the Board of Trustees this evening.

These grants - coming from a number of different sources - will help the College train area managers and employees in customer service skills, productivity techniques, technology, and other high-demand subjects. The goal, according to Ms. Shine, is to help area business firms remain competitive and increase profitability through employee training programs. Initiatives funded under the grants include:•An E-Business incubator program, being formed in partnership with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce ($100,000, from a special state legislative grant). The E-Business incubator will provide a variety of technology-related training and support to Genesee County business firms, and includes a World Wide Web connection businesses can use to attract new customers and support e-business transactions on the Internet.•Workforce Investment Grants ($10,400 WIA funds). These funds have provided customer service and statistical process control training in support of business firms such as Washington Mutual Co., Pioneer Credit Recovery, and Brunner International.•Microenterprise Grants ($9,400 federal/state funds). Local microenterprise grants have allowed the College to provide training to small, startup "micro" businesses in Genesee and Orleans counties. Training is provided in group sessions and provides small businesses with the basic information necessary to write bona fide business plans.•Building Skills in NYS Grants ($397,000). These New York State grants help local business firms retrain and expand their work force by improving productivity. The College is providing training to Tabtronics (Geneseo), Liberty Pumps (Bergen), Markin Tubing (Wyoming), Hodgins Engraving (Batavia), ARC Livingston/Wyoming Counties (Mt. Morris), and Hodgins Printing (Batavia).

These grants have helped the College provide training and education to employees of at least ten area business firms, Ms. Shine said. "We live in a highly competitive time, and our local business organizations need every productivity and profitability advantage they can get," she said. "Through these grant opportunities, we believe we can make a big difference to the companies we serve, and help strengthen our local economic base."

The BEST (Business and Employee Skills Training) Center provides a wide variety of educational and training programs to the region. They include over 175 classes in business-related subjects each year, customized training for area businesses, conference management, special business events, and other initiatives designed to strengthen the local business community.

In other business this evening, the Board of Trustees:•Approved the granting of 173 degrees and certificates to Genesee Community College students in January, pending satisfactory completion of the students' course work this month. The College anticipates awarding five associate in arts (A.A.) degrees; 91 associate in science (A.S.) degrees; 53 associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degrees; and 24 certificates.•Approved an extension of the contract between the College and the Genesee Educational Association, the bargaining unit representing the faculty and non-teaching professional staff. The extension covers a two-year period, with options for the College and GEA to further extend the contract for two additional one-year periods. The contract was originally established in 1980. The contract agreement will be forwarded this week to the Ways and Means Committee of the Genesee County Legislature for review and submission to the Legislature.•Heard Vice President for Student Services George W. Walker report that 393 prospective full-time students have applied for admission to Genesee for the Spring 2004 semester, up 2.3% from the 384 students that had applied for admission a year ago. One hundred seventy prospective part-time students have applied for admission, up 19.7% from the 142 prospective students applying a year ago. The College has received 43 applications from international students.•Heard Vice President for Human Resources and Planning Larene Hoelcle report that a new state law allows community college boards of trustees to formally designate public safety and security personnel as peace officers. The designation would give public safety officers more authority, including the power to make arrests. Dr. Hoelcle said that she is waiting for the state to issue training and administrative regulations that will govern community college peace officers. Currently, College public safety officers are licensed by the New York Department of Stat, and are trained in such areas as emergency response, CPR and first aid, defensive tactics, and other law enforcement subjects.