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New Jefferson Career Center offers job training for developmentally disabled

A new job training center in Buffalo's Jefferson Avenue corridor promises skills education in various fields for youth and adults living with developmental disabilities.

A formal opening ceremony was held inside what is known as the Jefferson Career Center, located just north of the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and East Ferry. The center, which is operated by Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled, provides opportunities to learn hands-on skills training in various fields, including hospitality service and maintenance, retail sales, office management, janitorial services and auto detailing.

"This is an amazing new exploration opportunity for people with disabilities, to come into this location, try out different learning suites to determine what type of job they'd like to have," said Mindy Cervoni, president and CEO of Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled. "Once they find something they really love doing, they get hands-on job training in that area."

Several business partners are helping provide the training. Cervoni identified the Basil Family of Auto Dealers as the business offering help with auto detail training. A garage is located on the grounds in which clients may practice. Several employees of Community Services, Cervoni explained, brought in their cars.

"All of them said these were the best details they've ever had on their cars," she said. "The people we support are getting really good training, they love the job and are good at it."

Already, there are plans for expansion. Community Services is anticipating the addition of a culinary arts learning suite early next year.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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