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GCC hosting career and education events for veterans

Veterans Day is getting special recognition at Genesee Community College. Over the next two days, a number of events will be staged as a part of the school’s annual events.A Veterans Career and Community fair is being held Thursday afternoon on the school’s Batavia campus from 1:45 to 3:45 p.m.  The goal is to connect vets with potential employers and services.

James Simon, an assistant dean and a retired Air Force service member, will emcee the events.

“There have been some very strong developments over the last decade or so to support veterans including the Veteran’s Outreach Center and other agencies…the One Stop Center for Western New York,” he said. “Of course we have the VA system. Buffalo, Batavia, Canandaigua, there are a number of resources available to the veterans and their families.”

During Thursday’s events, veterans can interact with service providers in higher education, vocational training, healthcare, housing and transportation. Friday’s events are highlighted by the school’s “Faculty Connect” open house, which will give visitors the opportunity to speak with professors and advisors for academic plans and potential career paths.

The events will take place on the school’s Medina and Albion campus centers as well as the Batavia site. Veterans of all service backgrounds are invited to come on both days with their families and friends.

Simon said the school’s goal is to help remedy veterans' issues.

“Every veteran and every family member who has those benefits from the veterans' service should be given the opportunity for a higher education and that is a need. A lot of them will transition out of their military service with highly skilled backgrounds but not necessarily conducive to going right into the workforce so we see a huge need.”

Simon said he is humbled and grateful to be a veteran and the day reminds him of his experiences along with service members stationed around the world.

“Veterans Day always reminds me of when I was in the Air Force and I think of people who are out there serving across the globe. You can’t think too long without thinking of them and realizing how important it is for those people out there serving our country and so Veterans Day is a way to honor that and remember that and cherish that.”