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Chautauqua County fortunate to have top-notch educational institutions
February 25, 2016

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When we count our assets in Chautauqua County our institutions of higher education fall towards the top of the list. We are fortunate to be home to two colleges in the State University of New York system, plus one private institution. As the home of the SUNY College at Fredonia, Jamestown Community College, and Jamestown Business College, Chautauqua County offers multiple opportunities for post-secondary learning.

SUNY Fredonia is the largest of the local colleges, with nearly 5,000 students in its 78 undergraduate degree programs and another 200 in its 23 graduate degree programs. Fredonia routinely shows up in some of the top college ranking lists, most recently making the list of Top Colleges in the Northeast from US News and World Report. More than 400 faculty members and an additional labor force of 1,000 also put Fredonia near the top of the largest employers in Chautauqua County.

Jamestown Community College provides more than 3,000 full- and part-time students with Associates degree and certificate programs across a variety of fields of study. Through its Communiversity program, JCC also provides seamless transfer agreements with a variety of regional institutions where students go on to earn Bachelor's degrees. JCC is a very affordable option for many students.

Jamestown Business College offers a small, private institution with both Associates and Bachelor's degree programs to develop professionals who are interested in business careers. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, JBC is an important educational provider for its 300 students.

What does this mean for Chautauqua County residents? It means a great deal in many ways! It means that students from Chautauqua County, and our neighboring counties, have easy access to colleges that can meet their educational needs and their budgets. Whether they are interested in high tech scientific pursuits, artistic studies, professional training, or a hands-on manufacturing education, students can find a program they want at a local institution at a price they can afford. A degree or certificate from one of our local colleges may be the most cost-effective way to earn academic credentials.

It also means that these institutions provide jobs for some of our region's best and brightest. The hundreds of faculty and staff members employed by these institutions are not just assets to local college students; they are also assets to our communities.

Dream It Do It fundraiser March 9

Brazil Craft Beer & Wine Lounge will host a fundraising night for Dream It Do It on Wednesday, March 9 from 5-8pm. 25 percent of all beer and food sales on that night will be donated to Dream It Do It Chautauqua County, a 501(c) 3 that is focused on developing a manufacturing workforce in our communities.

DIDI is an essential program for our region, devoted to providing students with early educational opportunities. It demonstrates the need for and career in manufacturing in Chautauqua County. The event runs from 5-8 p.m., with a brief presentation on DIDI at 6 p.m. There will be raffle prizes including apparel from local manufacturers. No preregistration is required, just show up and demonstrate your support for the educational programs that make a difference to local manufacturers!

Fredonia Chamber's meeting March 10

The Fredonia community Chamber of Commerce will hold its Annual Awards Banquet and Board Election on Thursday, March 10, at Squire's Table at the White Inn. The cash bar cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Awards will be given for: Business of the Year, Comerford's Collision; Retailer of the Year, DFT Communications/The Netsync Store and Sears Hometown Store; Community Service Award to Mary Croxton; Service to Humanity Award to Ronald Sellers, former President and CEO of Hospice Chautauqua County; Taste of Fredonia Award to Squire's Table at the White Inn and Domus Fare; and the Spirit of Fredonia Award to Margaret Valone.

For more information or to register call the Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce at (716) 679-1565.

Chamber/MAST Jamestown offices have temporarily moved

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and MAST offices have temporarily moved into the Annex Building at Jamestown Community College in Jamestown. The move is due to reconstruction and expansion of the MTI@JCC building. The Chamber/MAST offices will be located for the next several months in these temporary quarters. The JCC Annex is the former elementary school between Second and Falconer Streets, with parking access off Falconer across from Russell E. Diethrick Jr. Park. Visitors to our office are encouraged to use the parking lot off Falconer Street and the building entrance off Falconer nearest to Curtis. The ramp from the parking lot will accommodate visitors who need handicapped access. Chamber and MAST signs will be posted so that visitors can easily find our offices in the temporary space. Our phone number at the Jamestown office remains the same at (716) 484-1101 and our mailing address remains 512 Falconer Street. The Dunkirk location is not affected by the move and will remain at the JCC North County Training Center.

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