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Nassau BOCES enlists industry experts to partner in adult education instruction at annual meeting

The Nassau BOCES Adult Career and Technical Education Program’s Industry Advisory Board plans for the coming school year.

The Nassau BOCES Adult Career and Technical Education Program’s Industry Advisory Board plans for the coming school year. They are: (front, left to right) Alice Accardi, Daria Fahrenkrug and Regina Pace from Vetco Clinics; Sheree Jeanes from Symmetry Closets; Nassau BOCES Adult Education Principal Michele Cohen; Industry Advisory Liaison Kathleen Maffucci; Adult Education Principal Typist Clerk Eileen Moskowitz: (back, left to right) Lisa Donovan and Monique Entes from All Creatures Veterinary Services; Nassau BOCES Lead Adult Educator Denise Marcel; CTE Assistant Principal Jamel Johnson; Michael Maffucci from Verity Van Lines; Salvatore Realmuto from Platsky HVAC; Dimitri Sevastos from Alliance Field Solutions; Otto Morales from Beautiful People Salon; Adult Learning Center Assistant Principal Patrick Silvestri; Joe Stelmokas from Kidd Collision; Jon Seltzer from All Hours Energy; Laurence Carolan from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Andrew Greene from the American Culinary Foundation / LI Chefs; and Tim Warnecke from Platsky HVAC.

Administrators in the Nassau BOCES Adult Education program sought the advice of Long Island business leaders to prepare for the 2019-20 academic year during its recent Industry Advisory Board Meeting. Nassau BOCES Adult Education Principal Michele Cohen and several program administrators met with industry professionals to discuss and plan for the year ahead.


The Adult CTE program offers industry-aligned career training and work experiences that provide adult students with the employability skills they need to be successful in the 21st-century workforce. Students benefit from industry connections, on-site technical training and job-related certifications that help them to become knowledgeable, productive workers.


“The work that we’ve been doing with our Industry Advisory Board over the last year has led to a more comprehensive program that truly prepares all of our students to enter the workforce,” said Nassau BOCES Adult Education Principal Michele Cohen. “Nassau BOCES Adult Education has a responsibility to support our workforce and do it well, and we are finding that this relationship with the Industry Partners is exactly what is needed.”


The Industry Advisory Board consists of businesses owners, industry professionals, trade association members and the Adult Education administrative team, all working together to monitor the program and employ its graduates. The industry experts who sit on the board are invaluable to the learning process. They not only advise on curricula and instruction, they bring their wealth of experience directly into the classroom as guest speakers, presenting to students about the real-world workplace as it exists today. They provide practical experience, empowering students to apply what they have learned in real-world work environments through site visits, job shadowing, and externships. They also offer students numerous employment opportunities after graduation.


“The Industry Advisory Board is essential to our program,” said Kathleen Maffucci, Nassau BOCES Adult Education Industry Advisory Liaison. “Our industry partners enlighten us on the pulse of the economy and the landscape of the current job market. We work with them to continually assess curricula and provide the skills that are demanded in each industry. Great ideas develop from our brainstorming sessions and we act on those ideas.” 


At each meeting, Nassau BOCES takes the time to thank its industry partners for their assistance. Then it’s on to the business at hand, discussing the latest developments in Adult CTE, sharing progress from the past year and planning for the year ahead. In addition to the annual meeting, the board holds smaller sector meetings to discuss industry-specific needs and steps Nassau BOCES will take to meet those needs. Industry partners share what is new to their fields and help align curricula to match. 


“It is vital that we continue to build the education to employment pipeline,” Ms. Maffucci said. “It is important to see each student’s path lead to successful employment and/or higher education.  Our partners actively collaborate with us in this effort.  In return, they know Nassau BOCES Adult Education is a resource to strengthen their workforce.”


Last year, industry partners informed the board that they would like to see more training in professional skills, such as customer service and communication skills. In response, Adult CTE piloted a new professional skills curriculum to teach those specific skills. The program has also developed an employment center, where students meet with counselors to review resumes, discuss employment skills, and get the help they need to navigate the application and interview process. 


The benefits are shared by all, enabling Nassau BOCES to provide adult education that is at the leading edge of industry standards, giving students employability skills that are required in the current marketplace, and providing Long Island businesses with a skilled, qualified workforce.