The Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance recently met with representatives from Ticonderoga Central School, North Country Community College, International Paper, National Grid, Inter-Lakes Health, Fort Ticonderoga, Glens Falls National Bank, Bridge Point Communications, the North Country Workforce Investment Board, One-WorkSource, Essex Country Industrial Development Agency, the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce and Best Western to discuss job training issues. The group will meet again Oct. 22.
The Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance has turned its attention to job training.
“In this struggling economy everyone is focused on jobs and how to create more of them,” said Chattie Van Wert, alliance director. “Here in Ticonderoga, the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance is also focused on the challenge. In the North Country the influx of new businesses is stalled, so we need to strategize on how to retain jobs and how to ensure that area residents are qualified for new and existing opportunities. Having a well-trained workforce that funnels into local jobs is a key component to prosperity in Ticonderoga.”
With that goal the alliance met with local educators and business people recently to discuss the needs of area employers.
Hosted by Inter-Lakes Health, the meeting attracted 22 people from Ticonderoga Central School, North Country Community College, International Paper, National Grid, Inter-Lakes Health, Fort Ticonderoga, Glens Falls National Bank, Bridge Point Communications, the North Country Workforce Investment Board, One-WorkSource, Essex Country Industrial Development Agency, the Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce, Best Western and alliance board members.
The group with gather again Monday, Oct. 22, at 9 a.m. at the Inter-Lakes Health library to continue the “curriculum” discussion. For information contact Van Wert at at ChattieVW@ticonderoga-alliance.org or call 565-0054.
“It’s about jobs,”Van Wert said. “There are jobs available with our area employers, including entry-level and engineering positions at IP. If our high schools, college and workforce investment board can provide the right curriculum these and other available jobs can belong to local residents. These curriculum meetings are bringing companies and educators to the table to bridge the gaps between job opportunities and our trained workforce.”
During the meeting committees were formed to investigate job training and preparation issues.
Van Wert said the group will look at developing programs in the high school that will better prepare students for the workforce. These programs would teach workplace basics such as how to dress and behave at work, how to meet and greet visitors or customers and how to be a good and reliable employee. This could potentially create internships for high school students or involve Ticonderoga High School students senior projects, she said.
There are also meetings planned between Ticonderoga Central School, NCCC, IP, National Grid and Inter-Lakes Health to determine how schools can best assist students to meet the needs of local companies.
“For example, National Grid requires a high level of training and no longer has entry level positions,” Van Wert said. “They have created an Engineering Pipeline Program that creates a recruitment pathway, beginning after junior year in high school, for promising students who want to work for National Grid. It applies a multi-level approach to reach students at all levels of the educational system through certificates, AAS programs and BS degrees. They are fast-tracked for full-time employment at National Grid upon graduation. How can we make that work here and also include IP or Inter-Lakes Health?”
There will also be an effort to unite companies, like IP, with the North Country Workforce Investment Board, which works to link qualified candidates from around the region with job openings and prepares employees for those jobs, Van Wert said.
The alliance group will also explore the possibility of expanding the Champlain Valley Educational Services marine technology program at Ti High School to include engine manufacturer training programs and certification programs for other trades such as carpentry, electrical, plumbing and welding, Van Wert said.
“We’re exploring the potential to expand these operations under the direction of the Ti Central School in partnership with NCCC,” she said.
The working group also hopes to educate local residents on the importance of being a welcoming community.
“We hope to develop a community culture of hospitality and customer service, including training high school students, retail workers and citizens as welcome ambassadors of Ticonderoga to positively impact the visitor’s decision to return to our businesses and area,” Van Wert said.