Trying to assist people in finding, securing, and retaining higher wage careers is the focus of the Community Support Resource Fair.
More than 20 government and community organizations will be at the inaugural fair Tuesday from noon to 3 p.m. and which is being held by the Jamestown Housing Authority and Goodwill of Western New York, in the Cystal Ballroom at the Hotel Jamestown, 110 W. Third St.
Goodwill’s Goodskills Career Builder, the sponsor of the fair, has been operating its Workforce Readiness training initiative since February on the campus of Jamestown Community College. In collaboration with local employers and trainers, Goodskills Career Builder prepares workers for careers in advanced manufacturing through four weeks of free training provided to residents of Chautauqua County over the age of 18. By focusing specifically on careers in manufacturing, Goodskills has the dual benefit of helping to fill a growing need for skilled workers in Jamestown among businesses and providing opportunities for people to advance from minimum or low-wage jobs into higher paying careers, according to a news release.
Community Outreach Liaison for Goodwill’s Goodskills Career Builder Bryan Boleratz said beginning a higher wage career can be a daunting task.
“For many people in our community, starting a higher wage career is not as easy as finding an ad in the paper, applying, and getting a paycheck. Lack of affordable child care, transportation, housing, food, and basic workforce readiness skills often stand in the way. By putting all of those resource providers in one room, we hope to give people a path to success before they walk out the door,” Boleratz said.
Boleratz added that joining Goodskills in hosting the event is the JHA who oversees several properties in Jamestown including 280 units of Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidized public housing and manages a rental assistance program that includes nearly 300 housing vouchers for individuals and families who qualify.
Joseph Gerace, JHA executive director, is eager to have the resources of Goodskills in Chautauqua County and looks forward to bringing together so many agencies focused on helping individuals secure family sustaining employment for not only those supported by JHA but for the greater community as well.
“The JHA is excited to have the workforce readiness programs of Goodwill’s Goodskills Career Builder here in Jamestown and proud to partner with them on this event. We hope this is just the start of a collaboration that will bring many great resources to the people in our communities,” Gerace said in a news release.
A takeaway from the fair, Boleratz said, is that someone will learn of different resource providers and services, and to be able to overome barriers and get ahead in life.
Organizations attending the fair:
¯The Resource Center
¯Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education
¯Chautauqua County Health Department
¯Southwestern Independent Living Center
¯St Lukes/Mobile Market
¯Senior Community Service Employment Program
¯Person Centered Services
¯Be The Change You Want to See in Jamestown
¯Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County
¯The Chautauqua Center
¯St. Susan Center
¯Goodskills Career Builder
For more information contact (716) 710-7114 or visit goodskillswny.org.