Governor Cuomo Announces New Home of Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center at Monroe Community College

August 19, 2019

From the office of Governor Cuomo

More Centralized Location in Rochester Provides Improved Access to Services Currently Available at MCC's Downtown Campus

Investment Complements "Finger Lakes Forward" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center will soon be located on the downtown campus of Monroe Community College located at 321 State Street in the City of Rochester, Monroe County. This moves the center from its originally planned location at Eastman Kodak Business Park to a more central location on the downtown MCC campus. The new "MCC Forward Center" will be more easily accessible to students, residents, and community partners. It will support Eastman Kodak Business Park tenant companies as programs in skilled trades, advanced manufacturing, and industrial technology will be provided at the Center or as on-site contract training, while opening up this opportunity for support to additional businesses located outside of the business park.

"Investing in our workforce is essential for continued growth in Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region," Governor Cuomo said. "The MCC Forward Center will provide a needed pipeline for in-demand technical manufacturing jobs - and this new location is a logical fit for the region, our partners at Monroe Community College and the businesses that will benefit from access to quality workers trained in the skills needed to succeed in today's economy."

"Investing in accessible job training is essential to provide individuals with the skills businesses are looking for as they modernize and grow in the innovation economy," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center's new location at Monroe Community College is centrally located for students and residents to take advantage of programs in trades, manufacturing, and technology. It will increase opportunities for good paying jobs in Rochester and beyond, and will continue to strengthen businesses and spur investment in the Upstate economy. New York is leading the way to create a pipeline of talent for our workforce and employers."

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson said, "For communities across the State the SUNY campuses are a hub of academic excellence and provide a pathway from high school to job opportunities and long-term careers. We are pleased that Monroe Community College will serve as the new location for the MCC Forward Center. Together with businesses and organizations, the campus will offer an individualized education to more people in the region."

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "As the State's economy continues to evolve, we need to give New Yorkers the necessary skills to compete in an ever-changing job market while giving businesses access to the trained workforce they need to succeed, and this move to MCC's downtown campus will continue to move the Finger Lakes forward."

"Education and training are key to the well-being of our region. The Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center will open the door for more individuals seeking meaningful employment and a better quality of life," said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and Monroe Community College President Anne Kress. "Having the Workforce Development Center at our Downtown Campus positions MCC to play a greater role in improving employers' competitiveness and the region's economic vitality. This location also provides students with access to MCC's support services, helping even more individuals and their families build brighter economic futures. We are grateful to County Executive Dinolfo and the County Legislature for their support of the project, and Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development, and SUNY for their funding for this important regional workforce and economic development initiative." 

Madhuri Kommareddi, Director of Workforce Development for Governor Cuomo, said, "The MCC Forward Center is a leading model for effective workforce development through its meaningful engagement of cross-sector partners, focus on continually evolving training programs to meet employer needs, and coordination with the tremendous economic and academic infrastructure that already exists in the Finger Lakes."

The MCC Forward Center will take a multi-faceted approach to creating a 21st century workforce. The comprehensive, $11.4 million workforce development training complex will match in demand workers with the Finger Lakes area high technology companies that deal in energy, biomaterials, functional films and photonics. Photonics is the centerpiece of the regions Finger Lakes Forward economic blueprint. Over the next five years, the MCC Forward Center is expected to train over 2,300 workers and add $90 million in economic benefits to the region in the form of worker salaries and increased supply chain value. Added benefits include available space for long-term expansion while providing substantial savings in operating and staffing costs for MCC. This new, downtown location will be supported by a $5.4 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative grant as well as a $6 million NYSUNY 2020 Challenge grant. The project is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2023.

Senator Joe Robach said, "It is imperative that we ensure that today's workforce is not only prepared for jobs that are needed now, but for jobs that will be in demand in the future.  The MCC Forward Center will provide that much needed training as we continue to build the regional economy."

Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, "Moving the MCC Workforce Development Training Center  to downtown Rochester is a positive step in the  right direction and will ensure that residents and businesses are  keeping up with the growing demand for high-tech jobs which will continue to attract more and more companies to the region."

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "Monroe County's investments in workforce development have been life changing for families across our region, as our award-winning programs have helped hundreds of individuals secure good-paying jobs in growing fields like advanced manufacturing, IT, healthcare, and more. When Monroe County partnered with MCC to build a new Downtown Campus for our community several years ago, we always envisioned the surplus space at MCC Downtown would someday house a collaborative hub for advanced workforce development training. We are thrilled to now be bringing that vision to reality and we thank MCC, SUNY, ESD, and all of our project partners for their continued cooperation and support."

City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said, "This more centralized location for the MCC Forward Center in the heart of the City is a win for both Rochester businesses and the residents that are looking for high tech training for jobs that are in high demand.  This is another much needed resource towards the continued growth of the City of Rochester that will also help grow the people who call it home." 

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward

Today's announcement also complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $6.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan - investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia, and Canandaigua as destinations in which to grow and invest. Now the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private businesses to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.

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