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Chautauqua County Education Coalition
The Chautauqua County Education Coalition (CCEC) was recently awarded a $2,500 grant from M&T Bank to continue its ongoing work within Chautauqua County’s Learning System.
The CCEC is a dynamic public-private partnership made up of 125 stakeholders representing 70 organizations and is the catalyst for collaboration around four components within Chautauqua County’s educational system: Early Childhood, Middle School to High School Career Pathways, Current Employer Needs and Community Collaboration.
Justin Hanft, CCEC executive director further adds that, “the primary purpose of the Coalition is to align resources and build capabilities to meet the evolving workforce requirements of the community. To that end, the CCEC is building partnerships through catalytic projects to assure that Chautauqua County is “community ready” for opportunities that advance our learning system and lead to job retention and job growth.”
M&T Bank strives to strengthen our communities by providing support for a diverse range of civic, cultural, health and human service organizations through grants, employee volunteerism and in-kind services. Grant decisions are made locally, by the people who know their communities best.
“M&T Bank commends the Chautauqua County Education Coalition’s commitment to aligning people, organizations, school districts, higher education and employers to maximize our educational resources,” said Christine Tarbrake, Retail Regional Manager at M&T Bank and a member of the company’s local charitable committee. “Their ongoing collaborative work better prepares local students for academic success, thereby helping to create a highly-skilled and ready-workforce for our local employers.”
Over the past year the Coalition has worked to formalize this “initiative” into a long term sustained effort in the Chautauqua County community. In 2017-18, the group of initial stakeholders, along with the support of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce (CCCC) and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier (MAST), went through the process to make the CCEC a standalone 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Now with a board of directors strategically made up of key community leaders from industry, non-profit, and education the coalition is well positioned to continue its focus on aligning workforce efforts to move community level outcomes forward.
Key accomplishments of the Chautauqua County Education Coalition over the past year include, but are not limited to:
• Secured $100,000 in funding from The Cummins Foundation to support scalability of the Parents as Teachers program operated by JCLC to area Chautauqua County School Districts.
• $66,000 in STEM funding opportunities through National Grid for the Dunkirk/Fredonia area
• Initial and expanded funding to the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Programs state-wide
• Cummins JEP and the Chautauqua County Education Coalition were presented a National Recognition through Cummins National Engine Business Unit Impact Award for their joint efforts in aligning educational career pathways in manufacturing throughout Chautauqua County.
• Assisted the Jamestown Community Learning Council’s (JCLC) Parents as Teachers program in developing a business plan to grow capacity and supported their efforts to become eligible for State Aid reimbursement through Erie 2-Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES.
• Strategic planning and support of the Workforce Readiness Scholarship (WRS) rolled out through Jamestown Community College
• Support of key manufacturing identified catalytic projects: Dream It Do It, P-TECH, Pre-engineering Manufacturing Industrial Technology Academy at Jamestown High School, Chautauqua Lake STEAM Academy and the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College.
• Training facilitation of the “Stakeholder Engagement Process” in Chautauqua Leadership Network’s 2018. This process is both a way of thinking and a disciplined way of working together.
The Education Coalition has implemented strong processes with the help of the CivicLab, An Institute for Civic Collaboration, located in Southeast Indiana. The strategies and techniques used to achieve alignment to support manufacturing are being replicated to improve kindergarten readiness, align middle school to high school pathways that support health care and coordinate and align offerings of group training for in-demand occupations in health care and manufacturing.
The collaboration our education coalition represents improves the outcomes of the educational system of Chautauqua County by providing a network through which players within that system learn together, develop a shared understanding of what is possible, and work collectively to achieve common goals.
At its core the Chautauqua County Education Coalition is stakeholder driven, so if you are reading this, we would invite you to participate in this critical community endeavor. For information about our meetings, upcoming events please visit www.educoalition.com or like us on Facebook.