by Anna Kubiak
April 30, 2021
The BEST Center, located in GCC’s Conable Technology Building, is dedicated to serving the Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties (GLOW) area by offering access to programs designed to provide residents with professional certificates, a chance to enhance current careers, and personal growth opportunities.
Anyone or any organization in the GLOW region can take BEST Center training. This diversity of clients accentuates the impact the BEST Center can have on the community by providing a surplus of expertise through their classes and promoting opportunities for personal and economic growth. “It’s probably one the best kept secrets of the GLOW area,” BEST Center Director John McGowan said.
While COVID-19 forced the BEST Center to take precautionary measures, by transferring some of their programs to an online format, they have maintained their original goal of giving back to the community. Their programs and clinics in the healthcare field as well as police and security have persevered through the pandemic to continue to fill the commitment the BEST Center has pledged to the GLOW area.
This year their mission has continued to evolve with the addition of a Non-Credit Certified Nursing Assistant program set to take place over the summer. Beginning with a hundred hours of classroom work followed by 32 hours of real-life experience at local nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, the program has been created to provide a clear pathway into a healthcare career.
CNA program director Irene Viola expressed that there has always been a need for nurses. It’s a need that the COVID-19 pandemic has put on display and one that the BEST Center hopes to fill by contributing their resources towards educating the next generation of healthcare workers.
McGowan attributes the benefits of the programs to their condensed, professional nature and their lead into potential employment offered to participants. This type of stackable, or a micro-credential-based clinic, is a short-term program that allows people to enter the workforce with the training required to succeed.
Going forward the BEST Center is looking to spread the word about the Non-Credit Nursing Assistant program as well as others they are offering, such as their computer training and small business programs. McGowan is working to expand the BEST Center’s outreach to the community, in the hope that more people will become aware of the opportunities that are being provided and consider the positive impacts they could have on their lives.
The BEST Center’s website contains a plethora of information such as details about upcoming programs as well as the ability to sign up for them.
While their mission is a large one, the BEST Center maintains outreach and quality education as their priorities. McGowan says his favorite part of the job is “being able to connect and interact with individuals and organizations in the GLOW area.”