Business & Finance

Rep. Tom Reed Comes to Olean to Receive U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award

Rep. Tom Reed and local leaders discuss the higher education and the employment environments in the Greater Olean area. Credits: David Andoh
Rep. Tom Reed accepts a Spirit of Enterprise Award from Nick Vaugh, Eastern Region Manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Larry Sorokes of the Olean Business Development Center. Credits: David Andoh
Rep. Tom Reed leads discussion in Olean Business Development Center boardroom. Credits: David Andoh
Rep. Tom Reed and staff leave OBDC boardroom. Credits: David Andoh

OLEAN, NY – Every chair was occupied at the round table in the Erick J. Laine Boardroom, one of many recently renovated rooms on the third floor of Olean Business Development, 301 N. Union St.

Rep. Tom Reed, who had come to Olean to receive a Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his support for pro-growth policies during the second session of the 114th Congress, moderated the discussion.

The local business leaders in attendance voiced concerns about declining enrollment in local institutions of higher learning education and the struggle to find qualified candidates for company jobs. 

Sign Up for E-News

The large and continuing drop in enrollment worries Dr. Cory Duckworth, president of Jamestown Community College, who noted that the college’s Dream It. Do It manufacturing institute program “does a great job with getting kids inspired and motivated with their state-of-the-art facilities and technologies. But when it comes down to the time to really do it, it seems like it stops there.”

JCC, known for its premier academic and athletic facilities at both its Jamestown and Olean campuses, has seen enrollment decline steadily over the past five years. College trustees are unsure that new buildings and facilities actually benefit colleges, since the numbers say it is not helping attract more students.

In response to these concerns, Reed offered, “It’s important to connect your schools with companies who offer guaranteed internships and guaranteed jobs to students upon graduation.”

He added that if big buildings and five-star facilities cannot bring students, perhaps guaranteed jobs can.  

Currently no JCC programs guarantee job placement after graduation, but Duckworth did mention that such programs could be in the making.

Employers in Cattaraugus County who attended the meeting did correlate the declining number of students attending local colleges to a shrinking field of potential skilled employees. 

Mari Howard, president and CEO of both the ReHabilitation Center – NYSARC Cattaraugus and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, is among executives dealing with “crop scarcity.” She said, “I’m finding it harder and harder to attract talent to this area in this field.”

The entire table seemed to second her opinion. Cattaraugus County is not a hotbed for attracting young college graduates, and area business leaders tend to search for local talent from higher-ed institutions such as St. Bonaventure and JCC.

As the discussion came to a close, Larry Sorokes, president and CEO of the OBDC, and Nick Vaugh, Eastern Region Manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, presented Reed the Spirit of Enterprise Award plaque.

More information on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce scorecard for how members of Congress voted on key business issues in 2016 can be found here.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Greater Olean

Bonnies Historic Season Will Give Community Source of Pride Years to Come

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY -- The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball season came to an end earlier than the team had hoped. Coaches looked disappointed, and players covered their faces with towels. St. Bonaventure’s (26-8) loss to Florida (21-12) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament left many thinking what if?

However, the Bonnies historic season is nothing for the team to ...

Sights and Sounds: The First Four of the NCAA Tournament

Traffic is a common occurrence, but for fans of the Dayton Flyers, it’s a usual event every gameday. A trip across the Great Miami River leads to the Flyers’ athletic complex. It became the same ritual for Bonnies fans heading to the University of Dayton Arena for the team's first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012.

Snow, sleet and hail pounded down on the car as we ...

My Experience: What Almost Was Not

DAYTON, OHIO -- I almost didn’t get to shoot the game.

My media credential got all messed up because I neglected to go through one minor process (I’m an idiot lol and didn’t check my email). Luckily, some amazing people and friends helped push my name through, and I was granted media access to Tuesday's match against UCLA. For them, I am truly grateful and beyond ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 24, 7:00 PM

Cuba-Rushford Middle High School Auditorium, Cuba

Cuba-Rushford Drama Club presents "Les Miserables"

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 7:00 PM

Archbishop Walsh Academy, Olean

St. Patrick's Day Party and Raffle

Giving Back

Sun, March 25, 12:00 PM

St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure

SBU Hip Hop Team Sponsors Dance Workshops for ...

Arts & Entertainment

Cattaraugus County Arts Council Announces Grant Awards

March 22, 2018

OLEAN, NY—The Cattaraugus County Arts Council has announced the recipients of the Arts Education, Artist in Community, and Community Arts grants for 2018.

The awards ceremony will be held on March 27, beginning at 6 p.m., at Jamestown Community College in the Magnano Room in the Cutco Theater. The event is free and open to the public with live music and refreshments.

Funded by the New ...

Quick Center Honors High School Artists

ST. BONAVENTURE, NY—The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University honored 93 young, local artists at the center’s annual High School Juried Art Exhibition.

Works were selected for the exhibition from 300 submissions after an extensive jurying process by professional judges. Participating schools included Allegany-Limestone, Andover, Austin, Belfast, ...

'A Day in the Life': One Transportation Supervisor Serves Portville and Olean

PORTVILLE, NY – A whiteboard with dozens of destinations and vehicle numbers written in various colors sits inside the Portville bus garage, ready to be changed at any moment. David Youngs, the transportation supervisor of the Portville and Olean School Districts, knows that before 2 almost every afternoon, he is likely to receive an email changing the entire meticulously planned ...

'A Day in the Life' Follows Della Moore of the African American Center for Cultural Development

OLEAN, NY – When Della Moore walks down the street, she greets everyone she passes and makes sure to ask, “How are you doing?” 

From the moment I joined her at the 7-Eleven on a cloudy, cold December morning until we finished making our stops along State and North Union streets, she remained ...

'Day in the Life' Follows Warehouse Selector Justus Elliot

OLEAN, NY -- For Justus Elliot, time and pace are essential. As a warehouse selector for Olean Wholesale Grocery Co-Op, most of the 21-year-old’s job calls for efficiency.

“Everything is time-based," Elliot explained. "One hundred percent is the norm, and it’s what we work for every day. If our score is less, then we are moving too slow, and we kick it into ...

Happy Veterans Day, Mom

What began as an attempt to boost her GPA soon turned into a 22-year career for my mom, Ramona Lee Discavage.

On the first day of her freshman year at St. Bonaventure University in 1989, members of the Army ROTC Seneca Battalion helped incoming freshmen move their stuff into their dorm rooms.  Afterward, they invited all of the freshmen to a lunch.

“When they described the ...

Lynn Kemp: ‘Best Soldier I Could Be’

Lynn Kemp is nearing 95 and knows he has lived a good life.

“The good Lord has been awful good to me,” recalled the lifelong resident of Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania. “I never refused an order. I tried to be the best soldier I could be. I don’t know what your relationship is with God, but mine is pretty close.”

Born Oct. 29, 1920, Lynn grew up in a home on Turkey ...

WW II museum provides role models for young people

When Steve Appleby asks area students if they know Snoop Dog, Eminem, Kanye West, the Kardashians, Parris Hilton or Miley Cyrus, they answer yes. Then Appleby will ask which of them knows Jason Dunham is, and the students will not have a clue.

Appleby will explain that Jason Dunham was a Marine from Scio, in Allegany County, New York, who was killed in Iraq in 2006 after jumping on a grenade ...