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Orleans County stands to lose almost 600 jobs over the course of the calendar year. Within about two weeks, JP Morgan Chase announced plans to close its mortgage call center in Albion while BernzOmatic says it will shutter operations in Medina. While about 150 Chase workers will be eligible for jobs in Rochester and some BernzOmatic employees will be offered transfer to Wisconsin, it still makes for a bleak outlook for jobs in Orleans County. For workers who may be wondering what to do next, higher eduation could be calling.

The Genesee Promise Plus Program recently expanded to include adults with no prior college experience. It’s Genesee Community College's effort to get high school juniors and seniors college credit, but now the focus includes adults looking to change careers or complete re-training by providing an incentive to get them back on track with their education.

“Genesee Promise Plus -- which is happening this summer," Director of External Affairs Richard Ensman said, "would give our older students in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s an opportunity to attend a course with a full tuition scholarship if they have not been in college before. Genesee Promise Plus is a great way for students to experience college for the first time, get some academic credit and start preparing for something new.”

Senator Chuck Schumer’s office announced plans earlier this month to hold an external job fair for the Albion employees. Claims Recovery Financial Services is expected to be involved as they seek to fill positions at two Orleans County locations.

But since that won’t come to fruition for many, Ensman says a college education is attainable for almost everyone. The timing of the expansion of the program and the unfortunate job loss could align well for some adults.

“Higher education is the opportunity to pursue a dream and make life better.”

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