SUNY Celebrates 25 Years of Service at the North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center

November 2, 2023

Leaders Across SUNY and Elected Officials Join to Recognize Center's Impact on the Bronx Community


Photos Are Available Here From The Celebration

Bronx, NY – Leaders across the State University of New York joined state and local officials at the North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center (NBCCOC) to celebrate 25 years of providing educational, workforce development and assistive services to residents of the Bronx. The event recognized the center's tuition-free programs and support to socioeconomically-disadvantaged New Yorkers who need education and training to secure sustainable employment and achieve their goals.

"The North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center is a critical resource for the community giving young adults a path toward further education and careers, and SUNY is proud to celebrate 25 years of service and the tens of thousands of young adults who have found upward mobility through the center's services and support," said SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. "My thanks and congratulations to NBCCOC Executive Director Mitch Duren and his team."

SUNY Board Trustee Marcos Crespo said, "I am proud of the work and service the North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center provides the young people of this community. Mitch Duren and his team are visible, reaching out to high schools and building awareness of the programs the center has in place. It is a welcoming environment to help learners succeed and I congratulate them and the community on their 25th anniversary."

NBCCOC currently offers programs in high school equivalency, college preparation, and Google IT certification, and will soon add English for Speakers of Other Languages. The center hosts a SUNY Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) lab, which imparts digital literacy skills, academic development, and career training in computer-based applications. NBCCOC also partners with numerous community-based organizations to reach people in need of their services, as well as address barriers to education like food insecurity, housing challenges, lack of transportation, and other challenges.

NBCCOC Executive Director T. Mitch Duren said, "Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today. NBCCOC is proud to play a major role in that preparation for the people of the Bronx, and grateful for the support of SUNY and our elected officials that enables us to continue this work for another 25 years and beyond."

The offices of New York State Senators Jamaal Bailey and Nathalia Fernandez were recognized with Community Champion awards from SUNY and NBCCOC at the event, honoring their outstanding and unwavering advocacy and support for NBCOCC, its students and participants.

Senator Bailey said, "Everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive. As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the SUNY North Bronx Career Counseling Outreach Center, I am grateful for the unwavering commitment of Executive Director Mitch Duren and the entire NBCCOC team working to provide pathways to success through education, skills training, and job placement. The North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center continues to bridge critical gaps in our society, ensuring that opportunities for success are open to all. Their relentless dedication to advancing education, career development, and opportunity in the Northeast Bronx and beyond has laid the foundation upon which individuals can build their dreams. Congratulations to NBCCOC on 25 years of success and many more to come!"

Former NBCCOC ATTAIN lab participant Marybell Martinez was honored with the Outstanding Alumni award, which recognizes persistence, academic excellence and achievement by NBCCOC students and participants. Ms. Martinez earned Microsoft certifications in Word, Excel and PowerPoint at the center's ATTAIN lab, using those credentials to work for years in a New York City councilmember's office. They now work at Montefiore Hospital, where they train fellow employees in Excel.

Martinez said, "I am truly blessed to have crossed paths with The North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center! NBCCOC is an amazing community-based teaching center, which prepares you for today's world of technology. The skills and training I acquired are endlessly useful every day in the career I chose. NBCCOC lifts your heart and soul! NBCCOC lets you know that you matter! NBCCOC lets you know that you count! I am forever grateful for Mr. Mitch Duren and the entire NBCCOC team for the skills, training, and support. Congratulations to The North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center on 25 years of success and so many more to come!"

About the North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center

The State University of New York's North Bronx Career Counseling & Outreach Center (NBCCOC) opened in 1997 in response to the severe scarcity of adult education and job training programs in the surrounding area. The center expanded SUNY UCAWD's footprint in the Bronx, where an educational opportunity center provides a robust suite of programs and services to residents in the northeast end of the borough. The center came together through the vision and leadership of SUNY Associate Vice Chancellor Robert James and Senator Larry Seabrook, who saw high school equivalency preparation, skills training and job placement as gaps in service to the north Bronx community.

The NBCCOC began by offering programs, courses and services pertaining to General Education Diploma and college preparation, digital literacy and career readiness, quickly expanding its offerings to include certified nursing assistant, home health aide, medical billing & coding, and security guard training programs. In 2000, UCAWD opened an Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) lab within the center, adding Microsoft and other industry-recognized certifications, language learning software and other computer-based services to the center's efforts. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie secured $400,000 to complete the center's most significant technological expansion and enhancement in 2021.

The NBCCOC has positively changed the livelihood of over 20,000 young adults since 1997 by offering a variety of academic and vocational technology-based programs to the community at large, assisting students in achieving over 1,000 Microsoft certifications, leading to a variety of careers with the ultimate goal of students establishing self-sufficiency.

Today, the NBCCOC continues to refine and innovate its programming while serving as a referral source to other New York City-area educational opportunity centers.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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