Business Partners Help Students Build Life, Employability Skills

A student in the Retail and Office Services program, who has short wavy brown hair and is wearing a blue face mask and bright blue polo shirt, works with a teacher who wears a black face mask and polo, to fold an article of clothing.
Students in our Vocational Training & Transition program discover their interests, strengths and gain confidence in their abilities through work-based training with area businesses and organizations.

Work-based learning can take all shapes and forms—from repairing automobiles at a dealership to running wiring with an electrician or folding and sorting clothes for an area retailer.

The latter is exactly the work currently undertaken by students in  the Retail/Office Services and Vocational Training & Transition programs. While working with Capital Region BOCES business partner Plato’s Closet, students are building their employability skills said teaching assistant Mary Beth Matthews.

“It’s fun because I like to help people out,” said student Aarron Gillson, as he folded clothing and placed it into boxes. The Cohoes student is one of 30 currently enrolled in the two programs that are located on the Career & Technical School, Albany Campus.

Students in the Vocational Training program discover their strengths, build self-esteem and gain confidence in their abilities while receiving training with an emphasis on such job-related skills as organization, decision-making and leadership. Meanwhile, students in the Retail program learn about customer service, written and spoken communication, office and computer skills, budgeting and money management, inventory and ordering, advertising, basic accounting and business math.

Additionally, students build practical skills in business etiquette and learn to work well as part of a team, said Teacher’s Aide Peter Coumbes.

“I enjoy it. I like staying busy and learning things I can use to get a job,” said Deloni Burdon, of Schenectady, who attends the Vocational program from Schenectady.

Currently at Plato’s Closet, students are folding and sorting clothing by season into spring/summer/fall/winter bins. Teacher Charles Bednarczyk said future trips to the Latham retailer are planned to allow the students to experience other aspects of the business and help them “put it all together.”

Business/Community Partners Further Student’ Education

Strong business and education partnerships enable our Career & Technical School to prepare our learners for the workplace of today and tomorrow.

Students enrolled in our programs regularly benefit from the contributions of more than 300 BOCES business partners that provide everything from technical assistance to guest lecturing to job placement and work-based learning opportunities to students.

Contact Nancy Liddle, Capital Region BOCES Business and Community Liaison, at 518-862-4823 or to learn about becoming a business/community partner.