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Business-Job Corps link shines

Students from the culinary arts program at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy showed off their skills for community residents during a recognition dinner Tuesday.

The meal was just one part of the evening's highlights that also included honors for community service.

The program promotes positive relationships with businesses and organizations near the Job Corps center.

Several students were recognized for help and outreach to the community. Among the projects are preparing and serving food for the Rural Ministry's Friendly Kitchen, decorating an art gallery for a Halloween fundraiser, cleaning roadsides in Cassadaga and serving spaghetti dinners for a benefit at Sinclairville Library.

Cassadaga Job Corps students are reaching out to many areas of the community.

Student Lashell Pernell was recently elected to serve a term on the board of directors of the Chautauqua County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Janet Forbes, business and community liaison for the Job Corps, said community partnerships have enabled students to get worthwhile experience in many areas. Some students have been hired by area businesses, including Heritage Village Health Care Center, CVS Pharmacies, the Lutheran Home and Chautauqua Institution.

Representatives from these businesses and many others who employ and help train the students attended the dinner. Jody Longhouse, work-based learning coordinator for the Job Corps, said that about 40 students are gaining experience at community-based locations.

She introduced Opal Red-house, who graduated as a licensed practical nurse and is employed at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk.

Each work-based program lasts for a minimum of three months, and many of the positions lead to full-time jobs.

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