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Coalition Receives Donation From M&T Bank

From left, Tim Dole, M&T Bank Falconer branch manager, Justin Hanft, Chautauqua County Education Coalition executive director, and Christine Tarbrake, M&T Bank retail regional Manager, are pictured together because M&T Bank has provided a $2,500 grant to the Chautauqua County Education Coalition. Submitted photo

The Chautauqua County Education Coalition was awarded a $2,500 grant from M&T Bank to continue its ongoing work within Chautauqua County’s learning system.

The Chautauqua County Education Coalition is a 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, Chautauqua County Education Coalition executive director, said, “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 Chautauqua County Education Coalition 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 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, M&T Bank retail regional manager 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 and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier, went through the process to make the Chautauqua County Education Coalition a standalone 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. Now with a board of directors strategically made up of key community leaders from industry, nonprofit 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 Jamestown Community Learning Council 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 programs statewide.

¯ Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant 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 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 rolled out through Jamestown Community College.

¯ Support of key manufacturing identified catalytic projects like 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. The process is both a way of thinking and a disciplined way of working together.

For information about coalition meetings, upcoming events, visit educoalition.com or like them on Facebook.

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