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Orleans/Niagara BOCES readies to open Workforce Training Center at 50 Main

Thu, Sep 6th 2018 05:00 pm
Anyone driving in downtown in Lockport has probably been wondering why there are lights on at 50 Main St. It is because the Orleans/Niagara board of Cooperative Educational Service administration and staff are hard at work renovating the site and getting ready to unveil their newest Workforce Training Center in Niagara County. 
The former Niagara County National Bank, HSBC and Niagara County Community College has stood vacant for several years leaving Niagara County to decide what to do with the three-story, 14,500 square-foot building that would benefit the area. Knowing of Orleans/Niagara BOCES reputation for helping residents of Orleans and Niagara counties gain employable skills and the need for skilled workers in the area, they decided to transfer the building to bolster the BOCES award winning training programs located in the county seat.   
Orleans/Niagara BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Clark Godshall said it is a very attractive site and has a lot of potential. 
"This will allow BOCES to consolidate many of their programs from various satellite sites into one centralized location, one-stop shopping so to speak. We will definitely be increasing our course offerings in various skilled trades, including licensed practical nursing, home hospital aid and certified nursing assistant training. While contributing greatly to the economic development in the city, the BOCES has already made significant capital investments to improve the site in preparation for occupancy," Godshall said. 
Orleans/Niagara BOCES Director of Career and Technical Education and Continuing Education Joseph Steinmetz said they are excited about having a Literacy zone on Main Street and offering skilled trades in Lockport. 
"This is a great area to help us service people who are in need of those classes within walking distance or a short drive.  I also think it will also add to the bustle of downtown Lockport because of our staff and students who will be in attendance," Steinmetz said.
Literacy Specialist Susan Diemert said that the center's Literacy zone will provide job readiness and job training classes to every person who applies for public assistance because Niagara County mandates it. 
"Niagara County is way ahead of the curve on this.  I saw a similar program in Yonkers and the local Department of Social Services here took a leap of faith and told applicants seeking financial aid that they have to undergo training," Diemert said. 
Those students are offered reading, writing, resume building and computer skills training to help them prepare for careers.
The Workforce Training Center will be holding a grand opening in the coming month and hopes to offer skilled trades and health care classes by the first of the year. 

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