Over 80 people attended the grand opening of the Orleans/Niagara BOCES' Workforce Training Center in Niagara Falls on Aug. 8.
Community Leaders joined District Superintendent Dr. Clark Godshall, Director of Career and Technical Education and Adult/Secondary Programs Joe Steinmetz, Health Care Coordinator Karen Kwandrans and Literacy Zone Specialist Susan Diemert for a ribbon cutting at 606 6th St. Also on hand were Congressman Brian Higgins, Senator Robert Ortt and Assemblyman Angelo Morinello.
The center was once a vacant 8,000 square foot Niagara Falls CSD Maintenance Building and BOCES is excited to become part of a revitalized neighborhood to help the city's underprivileged have a place to study and train to work towards future employment. Vocational classes in home health aide, nursing assistant, licensed practical nursing, construction trades, welding and auto repair will be available.
The literacy zone has several classrooms that will offer students essential math, science, computer, social, literacy skills and resume preparation to assist in taking their high school equivalency exams and/or getting extensive skills training or a job.
"We could not have been happier with the turnout at the event and the sense of excitement that we have from leaders in the community and the residents," said Steinmetz. "It is a great feeling to have people walking through the door asking when a class is going to start because they want to sign up. One of the reasons we are here in Niagara Falls is because of the demographics. In the downtown, poverty and unemployment rates are higher. Now residents will have an easily accessible place to study and work towards future employment."