Accent on workforce education as GCC’s BEST Center marks 10th anniversary - The Buffalo News

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Accent on workforce education as GCC’s BEST Center marks 10th anniversary

BATAVIA – A Genesee Community College program that has become a pioneer in workforce education is planning its 10th anniversary with an enviable record of success benefiting a variety of schools, developers and businesses.

And it all goes back to an idea hatched by Jerry Kozlowski, a now-retired associate for development at the two-year school.

Kozlowski conceived the idea of adapting the goal of “wanting to be the best” into an acronym, BEST, for Business Employee Skills Training. The BEST Center was born in October 2003 and last year helped 12,000 workers in practical and strategic skills through more than 800 training and educational programs.

The anniversary will be observed at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Conable Technology Building. Many of those helped by the program are expected to return for the event.

The Conable Building, erected in 2000, is home to most of the BEST Center classrooms and labs.

A colleague at the birth who now directs business skills training, Raymond C. Chaya, said BEST has developed partnerships and grant funding with local organizations ranging from industrial safety to food-processing jobs, computer training to leadership skills, and help for small-business owners and online assistance.

BEST was recognized early in its first decade, winning two awards in 2004 for its development practices and innovations.

It continues to work with a variety of organizations, including the Genesee County Economic Development Center, Rochester Institute of Technology, Cornell University and businesses such as Markin Tubing, Automotive Corp. and Claims Recovery Financial Services.

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