Preparing the next generation of professionals

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - About 100 high schoolers from Western New York got a crash course in job training Friday. The event, Junior Achievement Career Quest, brought together several local employers to conduct mock interviews, provide public speaking tips and teach valuable workplace skills.

"In essence there's four really main areas that we're trying to influence is that kids learn how to communicate, collaborate, be creative thinkers and be able to use your critical decision making skills," Laurie Mahoney, president of Junior Achievement of Western New York, explained.

The event, which was held at Bryant and Stratton College in Amherst, also included a job fair, allowing students to learn more about different job opportunities both after high school and after college.

"I'm not as nervous as I was," Jake Dunstan, an 8th grader at Sweet Home Middle School, said during the event. "I think it's really cool to learn about the future, how it's going to go and how it's going to be."

General Motors Tonawanda Engine Plant was the presenting sponsor and says events like this are useful as a pipeline for talent and to educate people about the wide variety of jobs available.

"They see the plant but they don't understand what goes on on the inside between the four walls," Ryan Fox, GM's human resources and business partner at the plant, explained. "To let them know you can have a wonderful career at Tonawanda Engine and at General Motors as an entire enterprise."

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