Superintendent Jeff Simons was one of five panelists at the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce’s “Future of Workforce Readiness” event on Friday morning at Howard L. Goff Middle School. The event brought together local business leaders and education experts to discuss preparing young people for careers and marked the beginning of a full-day of professional development for teachers in the Capital Region.
“I think there’s a bias that everyone has to go to a four-year college,” Mr. Simons said. “A bias that if you go into manufacturing that’s the old mill. What we’re trying to do is take days like today, professional development opportunities, and get our teachers, our counselors, our parents to understand the opportunities we have in our own backyard.”
Mr. Simons called for more creativity and collaboration among schools, businesses and state government to improve workforce readiness. The panelists also emphasized the need for students to learn soft skills such as communication and teamwork.
Following the event, educators from across the Capital Region attended professional development at seven different locations, including Goff Middle School and Columbia High School.
Future of Workforce Readiness Panel
- Patricia Fusco, President & CEO, Fusco Personnel, Inc.
- Kendra Hart, Business Development Manager, Martin Electric
- Jeffrey Simons, Superintendent, East Greenbush Central School District
- David Turner, Regional Manager of Energy and Sustainability, Siemens
- Brian Williams, Principal Employment & Training Coordinator, Rensselaer County One-Stop Career Center
- Moderated by Elaine Houston, Anchor of WNYT NewsChannel 13 Live at 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.