Workforce Development Seeks Input from Business Community

January 4, 2019

The Niagara County Community College (NCCC) Workforce Development Department, with the support of Niagara County Employment and Training and Niagara County Department of Economic Development (NCDED), is conducting a survey of the Western New York business community. The survey is designed to provide the College with information concerning current and long-range technical and occupational requirements of employers in the area. The information obtained from the survey will be used to revise and expand the curriculum at NCCC and to prepare a high-skilled workforce for the job openings in the WNY area.

“The survey is intended to assist not only NCCC in preparing the workforce to be qualified for employment, but to assist all of our agencies with addressing the needs of both the job seeker and employer,” states Karen Kwandrans, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, who oversees Workforce Development at NCCC.

NCCC, working in coordination with Niagara County Employment and Training and NCDED, will identify immediate employment needs and projected employment needs over the next three to five years. The information provided is valuable to not only the three sponsoring agencies, but also for employers for training and recruitment of workers.

The NCDED reaches out to at least 75 companies every year and has done so for almost 20 years through its Business Growth and Retention Program.  According to NCDED Commissioner Michael Casale, “many companies tell us that finding skilled people to fill open positions has become more challenging, especially in recent years and with retirements among their existing workforce.”  

Don Jablonski, Director at Niagara County Employment and Training, adds, “We post almost 900 job openings a year on our website, with 325 people placed in jobs last year alone. The need for training to meet the job openings, including soft skills that employers prefer, has never been more important.”

The survey is being sent electronically to over 2,000 businesses in Western New York. In addition, businesses can take the survey by going to the NCCC Workforce Development webpage, or by the following link www.niagaracc.suny.edu/workforcesurvey. The survey will be open until February 4, 2019.  For more information, contact Karen Kwandrans at 716-614-6472.

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