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Employers seeking out adult education graduates

People from the community and people who have just finished courses in Buffalo public schools Adult Education Division are being invited to attend a job fair Wednesday in the Career Collegiate Institute in North Buffalo.

Director of Adult and Continuing Education Les Leopold says there are 30 companies coming. That is up from last year, and include companies from banking to manufacturing. Leopold says an increasing number of students in his programs are refugees.
"Many of the refugees that come into Buffalo are with resettlement agencies. For instance, we work with Catholic Charities and one of their wraparound services finding these individuals employment and our job is to help them learn to speak English," Leopold said.

Leopold says there are extra opportunities for those who speak Spanish, as well as English. He says many of the students in his programs can demonstrate to prospective employers they have real drive because they are learning English for the job market. Many more are local residents who dropped out of school at some point and came back to achieve their high school equivalency certificate.

"[They want] someone who is going to show up for work on time. They're going to show up every day. Some of the companies will do their own training. Some of the companies might be looking for specific skills. So, this is the opportunity for people from our community to come in and talk about their skills or talk about what a great work ethic they have and how excited they would be to work for that company," he added.

The event starts at 10 a.m. in the school at 756 St. Lawrence Avenue in North Buffalo.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.