Greene & Columbia Counties Partner to Launch 2020 Junior Career Institute

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2020 Junior Career InstituteInteractive sessions offer practical soft skills training, career awareness and leadership development to local high school students

The Greene County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) and the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), in partnership with Columbia-Greene Community College and the Columbia and Greene County Chambers have announced the launch of the 2020/21 Junior Career Institute, in a virtual format because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sessions began on September 26, 2020, and will run through November 21.

For the first time in its four-year history, the Junior Career Institute has been expanded into a two-county effort for 2020/21. During the summer, Columbia and Greene County school districts were asked to nominate two high school juniors to participate in the program. The 2020/21 class has a total of 18 students from 10 school districts. Districts include: Chatham, Germantown, Hudson City, Ichabod Crane, Taconic Hills, Cairo-Durham, Catskill, Greenville, Hunter-Tannersville and Windham-Ashland-Jewett.

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The 2019 Junior Career Institute Class

Junior Career Institute Program Director Carol Wilber stated, “The evolving job market can be intimidating to high school students, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be prepared.  Whether students plan to embark on a college education or enter the workforce after high school, the career awareness preparation and internship experience offered through the Junior Career Institute all count as time well spent and will help students realize success.”

In addition to career awareness, the Junior Career Institute focuses on soft skills training and leadership development through two-hour classes that include interactive and classroom instruction, mentors, guest speakers, and pre-recorded career videos featuring Columbia and Greene County employers.  Upon successful program completion, students will participate in a virtual Micro-Internship offered in January and February 2021.

“CEDC’s Strategic Plan identifies workforce education as keenly important to the economic growth of the County,” stated CEDC President and CEO F. Michael Tucker.  “The Junior Career Institute is furthering this initiative by working directly with high school students to enhance their career awareness and leadership skills.”

Greene County Deputy County Administrator Warren Hart said, “Greene County is critically aware of the importance of our need to support the school-to-work pipeline and the award-winning programs of our own Columbia-Greene Community College.  The two counties compete in a regional, state, national and world economy, and the Junior Career Institute is one tool that we have to give our high school students a leg up moving forward into the workforce,” Hart added.

Columbia-Greene Community College President Dr. Carlee Drummer stated, “Columbia-Greene Community College is proud to be a partner in this vital initiative that motivates high school juniors to begin thinking about various career options. Heartfelt thanks to the organizers for expanding the program to include Greene County students.”

Greene County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Karl Heck said, “Developing the next generation of leaders for the Twin Counties is vital to our continued growth and prosperity.  Increasing the skill level of the students through practical leadership is the best way to ensure that they succeed in the future and return to the area after college to become adult leaders.”

Greene County Chamber of Commerce President Jeffrey Friedman stated, “The Junior Career Institute continues the Greene County Chamber’s commitment to furthering the leadership and education of our youth through committed partnerships between our schools and our business community. We could not be more pleased with program as the next step in this endeavor following on the success of our B.E.S.T. program and the continued education programs in our schools.”

Columbia County Chamber of Commerce President Jeffrey Hunt stated, “The Chamber is not only a membership organization, but it also focuses on providing leadership opportunities at all levels.  The Junior Career Institute marks the first time that our programming has reached high school aged students.”

To learn more about the 2020/21 Junior Career Institute, please contact Carol Wilber at Columbia Economic Development Corporation (518.828.4718×103) or Kelly Ann Radzik at Columbia-Greene Community College (518.828.4181×3343).

The Greene County Economic Development Corporation (GCEDC) provides economic development loan, economic marketing and other services for businesses in the 14 towns and five villages of the County.  Our team provides personalized concierge service – connecting entrepreneurs, developers, site selectors, and corporate leadership with resources, municipalities and investment incentives for job-creating businesses.

Media Contact
Carol Wilber, Columbia Economic Development Corporation
E:   P: 518.828.4718