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Youth Summit Shapes Tomorrow’s Workforce

From left: Ali Tourchun, Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board; BCW President and CEO Marsha Gordon; Lucinda Cross, Activate Worldwide & Youth Summit MC; Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino; Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell and BCW Board Member Wiley Harrison

More than 200 young people ages 16-24 participated in the 6th Annual Youth Summit on Wednesday at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains, where they learned team building skills and connected with mentors to help them on their career paths.

The Westchester Youth Summit is coordinated by the Business Council of Westchester and funded by the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board. The summit’s goal is to provide young people with ways to pinpoint their strengths and connect with information about a variety of careers, particularly in industries that are looking for talent within the region. This year’s theme was “Career Pathways.” The youth participated in a number of team building activities, heard advice from business leaders and learned about potential careers in up-and-coming industries like biotechnology, healthcare, information technology and advanced manufacturing.

The keynote speaker was Byron Stewart, Founder and CEO of Mr. Purpose LLC, a motivational speaking and coaching company. Panelists were Mecca Santana Esq., VP of Diversity & Community Relations, Westchester Medical Center; John S. Thompson II, Marketing and Business Development Manager, The Galleria at White Plains; Julie-Anne Selvey, Vice President of Brand, IAC Applications; Kevin Saunders, CPA and Financial Planner, Deloitte Services LP; Danilo Vicioso, Founder of Authentic Ink.

The day also included a College & Career Fair with more than 20 educational institutions and businesses. Sponsors were IAC Applications, KeyBank, Berkeley College, C.W. Brown, a division of LeChase, Inspiria Media and VeeKast.

Ebony White, the BCW’s Director of Workforce and Employer Development, said that developing talent was a pressing issue for Westchester’s many industries and a priority issue for the BCW. She said the Youth Summit not only helped young people with a career path but was a way to groom future talent for area businesses. “This day provided these young people with real life experiences and insight into potential careers,’’ said White. “It was also a great opportunity for the business community to invest in our future workforce. We are so proud and grateful to have had the support of the many businesses who participated this year.”

See Event Photos Here

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