SUNY Partners with NYS Department of Labor to Launch Campaign to Attract More Employers to Apprenticeship Programs at SUNY and Accelerate New York State Reopening

June 16, 2021

Campaign Includes Advertising and In-Person Outreach to Both Companies and Their Respective Associations Looking for Skilled Workers in Advanced Manufacturing, Healthcare, and IT; and Provides Information and Support to Potential Employees Through SUNY's EOCs

More than 100 Employers Already Signed Up to Provide High-Skill Training in Paid, Full-Time Positions for Apprenticeship Programs at SUNY

Photos from Today's Announcement Available Here and SUNY's Video to Launch the Campaign Linked Here


Oriskany, NY
– As New York State's economic reopening accelerates and demand for highly skilled workers surges, State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras today launched a campaign urging New York State employers to sign up for Apprenticeship Programs at SUNY. By pairing New York State businesses of all sizes with participating SUNY colleges, the program fuses paid, on-the-job training with traditional educational instruction, helping companies attract, train, retain, and promote employees.

Since the program's 2017 inception, 28 SUNY institutions have provided educational support to 385 apprentices working in full-time, paid positions. SUNY has also trained hundreds of pre-apprentices who are ready to continue their training as apprentices in paid, full-time positions. Throughout the pandemic, SUNY has provided educational support to 124 apprentices and 22 pre-apprentices, helping people reimagine and rebuild their careers and lives during a tumultuous period. According to New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) data, salaries for experienced apprentices range between $50,000 and $100,000.

More than 100 employers are already participating—companies work directly with SUNY and NYSDOL to establish Registered Apprenticeship Programs. This formalizes a framework for the on-the-job training. SUNY then provides related instruction through a mix of credit and non-credit courses. Tuition is waived up to $5,000 per person for both apprentices and pre-apprentices due to $17 million in funding from the NYSDOL and the United States Department of Labor.   

The campaign coincides with NYSDOL resuming and ramping up of in-person outreach designed to raise awareness about the benefits of registered apprenticeships, particularly among employers in the advanced manufacturing, healthcare, and information technology sectors—three central focus areas of Apprenticeship Programs at SUNY. And, SUNY will be working with associations, including the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, to reach out to companies directly. Companies with apprentices report higher productivity and worker satisfaction, less turnover, and substantial return on investment.

SUNY will also reach out to students at its Educational Opportunity Centers and those enrolled in coursework through SUNY's Online Training Center to raise awareness about available apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship opportunities.

Chancellor Malatras and NYSDOL Commissioner Roberta Reardon announced the campaign from Fiber Instrument Sales (FIS) in Oriskany, where they were accompanied by FIS Chief Executive Officer Frank Giotto and Mohawk Valley Community College President Randall VanWagoner. A major manufacturer and distributor of communication fiber optics, FIS is a member of Apprenticeship Programs at SUNY—with Mohawk Valley Community College providing its related educational instruction. FIS is one of seven Giotto Enterprises affiliates that recently implemented a registered apprenticeship program. Mohawk Valley Community College is SUNY's lead institution on advanced manufacturing apprenticeships, whiles SUNY Schenectady serves as the lead on healthcare.

"Apprenticeship Programs at SUNY are poised to be a pivotal tool for both employers seeking highly-skilled workers, and people looking to reimagine their careers, expand their skillset, and forge a new path forward as New York comes out of the pandemic," said Chancellor Malatras. "We have more than 100 New York State businesses already signed on and hundreds of pre-apprentices waiting in the wings for full-time jobs. Our apprenticeship program marries tailored, on-the-job training with related classroom instruction, allowing businesses to invest in current workers in a truly meaningful way, bring on new employees eager to learn and grow, increase overall productivity, and reach their business objectives. That's been true for Giotto Enterprises, which is hiring at least a dozen SUNY apprentices over the next year. I want to thank CEO Frank Giotto for being such a strong proponent of our program, MVCC President Randall VanWagoner and his team for leading our advanced manufacturing apprenticeship concentration, and Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon for her tireless commitment to funding, building, and promoting this program statewide."

SUNY Board Trustee Bob Duffy said, "SUNY community colleges continue to lead the way in helping our students use what they learn in their schoolwork to thrive as employees in the workforce. Our world-class Apprenticeship Programs show that our system takes seriously the need to fill the employment gap. We are proud to partner with local businesses who need skilled workers by connecting them with our incredible pool of talented students and graduates. Frank Giotto and the rest of the team at Giotto Enterprises have opened their doors to SUNY, and I thank them for all that they are doing to help our students succeed as professionals once they graduate."

SUNY Board Trustee Stan Litow said, "SUNY is about opportunities, and as New York State reenergizes our economy, SUNY and our partners at the New York State Department of Labor are positioned to provide a pathway to an excellent education and skills for more New Yorkers—those just starting their careers and others who are ready for a change or a new challenge. My thanks to Frank Giotto and companies like Giotto Enterprises for providing job growth and endorsing the importance of an education, and for our community college leaders like President VanWagoner for their commitment to working with businesses and evolving the programs we provide."

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "I cannot stress enough how critical Registered Apprenticeships are as we build back from COVID-19 pandemic, and our workforce and the needs of employers across the state continue to evolve. Registered Apprenticeship Programs provide a remarkable pathway to well-paying jobs and long-term careers. Partnerships like the this one, between SUNY and Fiber Instrument Sales, are crucial in engaging the local business community to train and hire locally, and to providing a sustainable pipeline for a skilled workforce."

Frank Giotto, Chief Executive Officer, Fiber Instrument Sales, said, "We have a lot to celebrate today, and it's an exciting time for Giotto Enterprises and for SUNY. Over the years, I've witnessed a loss in skilled technicians—it's for this reason, I'm a true believer of the New York State Apprenticeship Program. This program is getting the attention of energetic people to come aboard and learn a new trade and skill—with the assistance of Mohawk Valley, AIM, and SUNY, we have five apprentices now on staff, who are learning all about the areas we specialize in that require a specific skillset. What's nice about this program, is it's not only a winner for me, but a winner for trainee and New York State as a whole—we all benefit from producing a more skilled workforce."

Randall VanWagoner, President of Mohawk Valley Community College, said, "Apprenticeships, now more than ever, are an outstanding way for community colleges to balance our programs with hands-on training. To ensure that we train future employees in the most relevant skills they need, it is also essential to have vital partners such as Giotto Enterprises, who are crucial in developing a highly-skilled workforce, which in turn creates a pathway for high-paying jobs and helps grow their business and the local economy."

Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and Education Pipeline, said, "The power of our community colleges to provide students with the opportunity to pursue careers is more than ever before to address the needs of our future workforce. By engaging with SUNY's apprenticeship programs, businesses can ensure that they will remain competitive in the marketplace, and that their employees have the precise skill sets required for their company to thrive."

Jonathan Linzaw, an apprentice at FIS, said, "This program has been a really great opportunity for me, and it has helped me advance in my career. I want to thank everyone involved for providing me with the chance to grow at Giotto Enterprises, a company I've been with for over two years through SUNY's Apprenticeship Program. This has been a really great experience for me, as I've learned new skills and worked with someone side-by-side who is mentoring me. In order to gain the skills you desire, it's necessary to learn from someone who already possesses them, and what I've learned from my mentor is something you can't find in a college textbook."

Randy Wolken, Manufacturers Association of Central New York President and CEO, said, "As our state emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, Registered Apprenticeships at SUNY will serve as a crucial tool for getting people back to work. Manufacturers are eager to fill hundreds of positions, and apprenticeships offer training and instruction for workers to advance their skills and develop pathways to long-term careers. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at SUNY and the NYSDOL to achieve these successful results."

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon said, "As we work to recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy needs reliable, good paying jobs to help get employees back to work. The SUNY Apprenticeship program under the guidance of Chancellor Malatras and Commissioner Reardon is a collaborative endeavor that builds fundamental opportunities for our local MVCC students and businesses. I want to thank Fiber Instrument Sales for hosting our SUNY students in an environment that promotes a skilled workforce and provides successful opportunities that meet the demands of today's workforce. Educational and business partnerships like this are the key to building a foundation for a stronger economy that will be seen for generations to come."

For more information on the SUNY Apprenticeship Program, click here.

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 state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.3 million students in 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 2021, 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 opportunity, visit suny.edu.


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