SUNY Community Colleges Focused On Workforce Development

March 6, 2013

Albany — State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced that nearly 80 community college projects are currently supporting job training across New York as part of this year’s SUNY Workforce Development Grant Program.

The projects are providing job and workforce development training courses to businesses and organizations statewide in order to promote and encourage the location and development of new business in New York and to retain existing employment opportunities.

"As a result of this program, SUNY’s community colleges are working with more than 100 employers across the state to train nearly 15,000 workers," said Chancellor Zimpher. "Whether it is teaching English as a second language, training healthcare providers in the use of technology, or helping local employees to hone their leadership skills, community colleges are ideal grounds for workforce development and we are proud to answer New York’s call in this respect."

A complete list of programs funded by the grant is available online.

At SUNY Adirondack, for example, 350 employees from a total of four upstate businesses and organizations - Adirondack Studios in Washington County and Great Escape/Six Flags, The Glen at Hiland Meadows, and Precision Extrusion in Warren County – will develop skills in leadership development and team building, supervisory capacities, training and retention, electrical theory and industrial technology, Computer Aided Design, and Mandarin Chinese.

"The diverse nature of training programs we are offering will allow these businesses and employees to meet the challenges of a growing international economy," said SUNY Adirondack President Ronald C. Heacock. "The programs also show our community that we are serious about meeting those challenges."

Broome Community College is providing workforce training for more than 900 people from 11 companies in three different counties- Broome, Tioga and Chenango. Many of the companies, which include manufacturing, healthcare and utility organizations, would not be able to train their employees without the SUNY grants. Common development needs among participating organizations are computer skills, time management, and leadership skills. BCC is also using the grants to provide basic and lean manufacturing programs.

"Many companies in our service area are facing many challenges in this economy," said BCC President Dr. Kevin Drumm. "The training BCC provides through the SUNY grants is vital to helping them maintain the trained workforce necessary in this competitive environment. These skills employees receive help them be more productive, take on more responsibility and gives them confidence to move forward in their careers."

Three projects at Ulster County Community College reflect the college’s focus on manufacturing. A single application on behalf of 15 Ulster County companies with similar training needs will support management development, computer training, and technical training as part of the grant; and Selux, a local manufacturer of lighting fixtures will encourage retention of current employees and train new employees in partnership with the college.

SUNY Ulster President Donald Katt said, "This award allows the college to continue its decades-long commitment to being a proactive partner in the economic development life of the community. These funds represent real contributions to the development and retention of a well-paid, quality workforce in the Hudson Valley."

SUNY Ulster is also leading a consortium of community colleges that includes Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Ulster and Westchester in partnership with the Council of Industry of Southeastern NY. The group will deliver unduplicated training in each area and encourage more than 20 local companies to cross county boundaries to attend training.

The BEST (Business Employee Skills Training) Center at Genesee Community College implemented training programs for 25 organizations and will be training approximately 3,500 incumbent workers, helping private companies as well as non-profit organizations sharpen their competitive edge in areas such as OSHA safety standards, computer skills, technical writing, HR compliance training, supervisory skills, and leadership development. Among the departments and organizations that have benefitted are the City and Town of Batavia, Livingston County Department of Health, Wyoming County Community Health System, United Memorial Medical Center, Suburban Adult Services, ARC, Monroe County Department of Environmental Services, Five Star Bank, and numerous manufacturing companies.

"The funding provided by the SUNY Workforce Development Training Grant is critically important to organizations across our region," said GCC President James Sunser. "The BEST Center provides a broad scope of skills training that not only increase productivity today, but gives businesses and nonprofit organizations a fresh resource for transferrable skills that impact their bottom lines for years to come."

In July 2011, Oswego-based Novelis announced a $200 million expansion to meet the company's automotive industry contracts. Novelis plans to add 100 jobs to its existing 650 employee workforce at the 1.4 million square foot plant. The demonstrated ability of Cayuga Community College to provide employee training was a factor in the Oswego plant selection and its production expansion. The college’s program with Novelis has been extended through Spring 2014, and the partnership is working to create an entry-level skills program to fill existing openings at Novelis.

"We have met with government and business leaders throughout the region to help us develop the academic and workforce development programming that would make the biggest impact on our regional economy," said Cayuga President Dr. Daniel P. Larson. "Through these collaborative efforts, we have developed a shared vision for creating a workforce with relevant and employable skills tailored to our local employers."

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, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 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

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