Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Congressman Brian Higgins joined Erie Community College and regional workforce development officials for a ribbon-cutting ceremony of ECC's new, state-of-the-art One-Stop Career Training Center inside its North Campus Gleasner Hall on Tuesday.
"ECC has consistently been looked to by Western New Yorkers for workforce development, because we know how to provide career-focused education and train job-ready students," said ECC President Jack Quinn. "So, it makes perfect sense that the college would take a lot of pride in hosting a center as vital to our region's workforce as the One-Stop."
The ECC One-Stop Career Center, whose previous incarnation stood near the college's South Campus, is open to the public and provides a full range of assistance to job seekers inside one Northtowns facility. Established under the federally funded Workforce Investment Act, the center offers a wide variety of free services to Western New York job-seekers, including résumé writing, career counseling, job listings, training services, access to donated men's and women's business clothing, and similar employment-related services - all collectively supported by the state, college and county.
"The One-Stop Career Center will make it much easier for job seekers to access the information, guidance and other employment-related services they need to succeed with their search," Poloncarz said. "Visits to the center have already increased significantly in the past year, proving that this is a vital resource to county residents looking for work, and this upgraded facility will now be able to help even more people as they begin their new careers."
Thanks to collaborative efforts focused on expanding, technologically enhancing and re-branding, the One-Stop's career-focused services have expanded greatly over the past 12 years, especially for returning U.S. veterans and dislocated workers adversely impacted by foreign trade. The center was also able to host more than 82,000 customer visits in 2012, up from 6,080 in 2001. It will host its first two job fairs - featuring more than 41 hiring businesses - within the next month, as well as host a job fair specifically to aid the hundreds of Western New Yorkers disenfranchised by Bank of America's decision to close its Getzville mortgage operation on May 23.