Page 15




Career Action Center mentors are stationed in Poughkeepsie High School to provide students with the necessary skills to identify and pursue their career interests and/ or obtain employment. Mentors also facilitate an intensive job and career readiness mentoring program to 50 juniors and seniors at Poughkeepsie High School. The Career Action Center is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Poughkeepsie City School District and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mentoring program leads to City job By Katrina Gobins Director of Career Action Center


akial Smith came to the Career Action Center Mentoring program as a Junior and soon enrolled in the Chamber Foundation’s, Leadership Connections program. In addition he attended job shadow days to learn about careers, and volunteered in the community. For the last five years the Chamber has been producing an annual Career & Job Fair at Poughkeepsie High School. Businesses from Dutchess County and beyond come together to speak to students about career opportunities and

possible job openings. One organization that participates every year is the City of Poughkeepsie. Katrina Gobins, Director at the Career Action Center, recognized an opportunity and seized the moment by introducing Makial to the City of Poughkeepsie Mayor, Rob Rolison, who were both present at the fair last year. She’d heard there were open summer positions at the Department of Public Works and knew he would be a great fit. Mayor Rolison encouraged Makial to go the Human Resources table and get an application. And as Makial walked to the City’s career table, Katrina informed the Mayor he would be a great worker

and would not regret hiring him. A few weeks later she saw Makial at school and there was great news - he’d gotten the summer job! And not only did he get the job, we have since learned that Makial’s job has turned into a permanent position. Said Mayor Rolison: “Makial is solely responsible for this achievement, and it’s due to his followthrough and perseverance that he got the job. Additional skills and licenses are needed for many city jobs, and Makial’s job required that he have a driver’s license, which he didn’t have at the time. While most candidates would abandon their application there, Makial immediately set to fullfill

Youth One Stop is a comprehensive education and job-training program utilizing local resources to benefit at-risk youth in Dutchess County. The program is open to incomeeligible youth, ages 14-24 who are facing obstacles inhibiting them from completing school, finishing their HSE or gaining employment. Youth One Stop is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board and The Chamber Foundation, Inc.

Youth One Stop part of National Night Out By Jessica Vitolano Youth One Stop Coordinator

an organization that focuses to end gang violence, and Hudson River Housing, an organization that provides housing to those in need. Other activities have children in mind like touch-a-truck for young children, with fire trucks and police cars. Also available was free food, petting zoos, and other children’s activities. Youth One Stop (YOS) exhibited for the first time, and in ad-

dition to educating passersby on the YOS mission, small branded give-a-ways for children and program literature were available. The event proved a great opportunity to spread the word about YOS to a targeted audience and to meet candidates for the program. YOS is looking forward to attending again next year in 2019. Anyone looking for more information on the YOS program can visit

Are you interested in becoming a mentor to youth in the Poughkeepsie area? Contact Katrina Gobins at 845.454.1700 x 1005. Our next Career and Job Fair will be in November 2018. More information will be forthcoming in next month’s Bottom Line.

The Workforce Connections Program comprises both education/training services and staffing resources. These organizations are often multi-faceted and offer several programs that help with both existing and future employees. The Workforce Connections Program is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services and the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Success can be rewarding By Meredith Madden Program Data Coordinator



ational Night Out in the City of Poughkeepsie fosters an opportunity to community members and law enforcement to have fun and get to know one another in a neutral environment. The night’s mission is to help communities work together as one. This is a nationwide collaboration between police, community partners and neighbors, and is held on the first Tuesday in August. This night gives community partners the opportunity to promote their organization, communicate available community resources and for law enforcement and the neighbors to put a human factor to what they do. An example of the kinds of the organizations that attend this event are those like the SNUG Project,

and obtain that requirement.” Makial’s story shows us that youth in our community are eager to learn and want to give back and even stay. That’s why mentoring, programs and events produced by the Career Action Center are critical for positive youth development.

ow does one define success and then reach it? There are as many answers to these questions as there are people. It is also true that many individuals face several barriers to reaching their goals. Participants in the Workforce Connections Program face an overabundance of barriers including some of the following: little or no reliable transportation, insecure housing, unreliable childcare, not having proper interview and/or work clothes, and not having sufficient office skills. The Workforce Connections Program, which is funded by the Department of Family and Child Services, works with their participants to define their goals, identify barriers to achieving them, and defining the actions to take to bypass or help eliminate those

barriers. One of the biggest barriers to success is a lack of training and education. Paying for additional education necessary to increase one’s skills can be an enormous hardship for most participants. Fortunately, the Workforce Connections Program empowers participants to seek out resources and agencies to overcome this adversity. High School Equivalency (HSE) preparation is offered onsite, while other participants receive training as CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistant), Dental Technicians, or Return-to-Practice for CNAs outside of the WFC offices. Success feels amazing, and it’s rewarding for everybody to create valuable connections between participants and funding. It is equally gratifying to support these individuals during the process of training, and then witness a true success story when they graduate!

Profile for Rich Kleban

Bottom Line - September 2018  

Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce

Bottom Line - September 2018  

Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce

Profile for rkleban