The Power Of A Local Coalition

The power of bringing people and organizations together with a clear objective, focused goals, and continuous action has been demonstrated by the Chautauqua County Education Coalition. A few years ago a group of business, school, not for profit, foundation and post-secondary leaders gathered in a room and began working together on a few complex issues. Working together they reviewed data, met consistently to share information and built trust. This group decided to focus on how best to align resources and build capabilities in Chautauqua County’s learning system. Out of this effort the Chautauqua County Education Coalition (CCEC) was born. The goals of the Coalition are focused on improving outcomes of students at key points in the learning system, enhancing the opportunity for Chautauqua County’s economy to grow through retention and attraction of employers and people and building strong partnerships to increase learning system effectiveness through better alignment, synergy and resource sharing.

Today over sixty five organizations meet on a regular basis focused on specific goals to improve kindergarten readiness and increase the quality and supply of our areas workforce. The collaboration of these organizations has brought forth numerous successes:

¯ CCEC has supported business plan development, scalability and capacity building of the Jamestown Community Learning Council’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) program. This has enabled PAT to extend its service to more Chautauqua County School Districts and with that more Chautauqua County parents and children.

¯ CCEC has supported and allocated STEM funding opportunities through National Grid for the Dunkirk/Fredonia area, expanding science, technology, engineering and math learning opportunities to more students.

¯ CCEC played a significant role in helping bring partners together in the development Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program located in Dunkirk. P-TECH is training tomorrow’s high skilled manufacturing technicians for jobs critical to our economy.

¯ CCEC has facilitated several meetings with area employers including Athenex along with educational partners in an effort to develop strategies to build an adequate pipeline of workers for current and future needs.

¯ CCEC has facilitated and provided strategic planning and technical support to Jamestown Community College to help align curricula with industry needs and align students with local employment opportunities.

¯ CCEC has worked with manufacturers to identify and support catalytic projects that are working to address workforce needs: 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.

¯ CCEC has provided training and 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 that has been shared with many current and future leaders.

In addition to these major accomplishments, there have been countless connections and relationships built through the Coalition. The Coalition has been the glue that has fostered and maintained connections among organizations that would not normally come together around the same table and around common issues. Notably, over $12 million dollars of new investment in the Chautauqua County learning system are attributable to efforts of the Chautauqua County Education Coalition.

At its core the Chautauqua County Education Coalition is stakeholder driven, we invite you to participate in this critical community endeavor. For information about CCEC meetings, upcoming events or National Grid STEM Grant opportunities please visit or like the CCEC on Facebook @educoalition. You may also reach the CCEC Executive Director, Justin Hanft at or reach him through the Chamber of Commerce phone number at 366-6200 or 484-1101.


Once again this year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is encouraging local residents and visitors to shop small this holiday season, and asking local businesses to help us boost awareness of Small Business Saturday. This is the fifth year that the Chamber of Commerce has signed up as a Neighborhood Champion for Small Business Saturday. That, quite literally, puts Chautauqua County on the map for the day. The number of Chamber member businesses participating since we began promotional efforts has increased countywide, and some of our local Community Chambers are now helping to promote the movement through special events. The Dunkirk Community Chamber is working in partnership with the City of Dunkirk on an activity-filled day for shoppers at D & F Plaza, which includes a pop-up market, face painting and kid’s activities on Nov. 24. The Fredonia Community Chamber is using Small Business Saturday as a kickoff for its Small Business Week, leading into the Festivals Fredonia Miracle on Main event the following weekend. Eligible Chamber member businesses can be included for FREE in Chamber advertising for Small Business Saturday. Just let us know that you will be open for business on Saturday, Nov. 24 and that you want to participate. For more information email


The Dunkirk Community Chamber of Commerce invites members and non-members alike to attend its annual Appreciation Dinner, Thursday at Shorewood Country Club. Featured speakers will include Mayor Wilfred Rosas and City Development Director Rebecca Yanus, and Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center. Sponsors are: 1st Priority Mortgage, Bart’s Cove, The Chautauqua Center, City of Dunkirk, Dressed to Impress Doggie Spa, Graf Realty, Hall’s Hometown Insurance, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Main Wine & Spirits, Matts News, and Ralph’s Pennzoil. The cost is $28 per person. Register now by calling the Chamber at 366-6200 or sign up online at



The 2018 Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting will be held Friday, Dec. 7, and noon at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron. This event will include election of the Chamber Board and Officers for 2019 and presentation of the annual Pam Lydic Coalition Builder Award. It is proudly sponsored by DFT Communications. For more information or to sign up find it on our calendar at