SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — Students won’t need to travel far to take SUNY Schenectady courses in advanced manufacturing and healthcare, thanks to a $1 million grant the College received through the SUNY 2020 Workforce Development Initiative Consolidated Funding program. The College will bring two mobile classrooms to students and regional employers, delivering workforce development courses through “SUNY Schenectady 2U.”
The program will mitigate barriers and focus on improving the talent pipeline for companies looking to support retention and hiring efforts, retraining adults who need updated skills to improve employment prospects, and increasing high school students’ employability and understanding of opportunities in advanced manufacturing and healthcare fields. Employers will contract with the College for the course and provide space to set up the mobile classroom. Programming will prioritize those from underserved backgrounds, veterans, disabled, at-risk youth, unemployed/ underemployed and those who are traditionally underrepresented (e.g., women in STEM).
Dr. Steady Moono, president of SUNY Schenectady, noted that the new mobile classrooms are another example of the College extending its reach into the community and engaging with employers and students. “Through SUNY Schenectady 2U, we are building bridges for students and employees to enhance their skills and opening up many more possibilities for them in their careers,” he said. “For employers, we continue to serve as a regional leader in providing focused training for their employees and working with them to offer the courses they need to grow their businesses and help their employees succeed.”
Ann Fleming Brown, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, explained the significant benefits that the new program will have for students and employers. “SUNY Schenectady 2U will be transformative in the way that we are able to deliver skills-based training programs to regional employers and tailor courses to fit their needs,” she said. “This is an exciting new approach to training that will benefit employers, employees, students and the College, and it allows us to offer more pathways for students to upgrade their skills and expand the opportunities available to them.”
The College will offer training courses that will cover a variety of disciplines including: quality control, technical skills, business management, lean manufacturing, phlebotomy, EKG, medical administrative assistant, behavioral health and community health workers. Sessions are delivered in short durations (four hours), reducing the time workers are away from their job. Both mobile classrooms will be self-powered, climate-controlled, and Wi-Fi-enabled with 12 workstations that can accommodate up to 12 employees/students in each session.
Anthony Jasenski, Sr., chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature, congratulated the College on receiving this substantial grant and designing an innovative program to expand its reach of workforce development training for regional employers.
“SUNY Schenectady continues to find innovative ways to eliminate barriers that may hinder non-traditional and underserved communities from getting the skills they need to be successful in today’s workforce,” he said. “We congratulate the College for receiving the grant and creating the new SUNY Schenectady 2U program, and for their continued partnership with our business community to find the best ways to fill the local skills gap.”
The College anticipates it will take about a year to design and acquire the mobile classrooms, work with partners and employers to book the mobile classrooms and then hit the road and offer training.
SUNY Schenectady designed the program after assessing the needs of both employers and potential employees, noting that rural areas are particularly hard to serve. Sarah Wilson-Sparrow, executive director of Workforce Development and Community Education, said that the College plans to collaborate with other SUNY colleges to expand training opportunities, design articulation agreements and develop micro-credentials and apprenticeship programs.
“We are excited about providing training opportunities to a broader audience,” she said. “The mobile classrooms will give students a chance to learn and grow within their career, thus providing the employer and employee collective opportunities that encourage retention, promotion and advancement.”
About SUNY Schenectady
Founded in 1969, SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SUNY Schenectady) is one of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. SUNY Schenectady is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Through transferable degree and certificate programs, affordable tuition, strong student support services and a personalized approach to learning, SUNY Schenectady provides students with a regionally-acclaimed education that empowers them to take the next step in their lives. SUNY Schenectady offers degree and certificate programs through the:
• School of Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism
• School of Music
• Division of Business, Criminal Justice, and Law
• Division of Liberal Arts
• Division of Math, Science, Technology, and Health
SUNY Schenectady also offers an array of Workforce Development and Community Education services and non-credit courses. Learn more by visiting: www.sunysccc.edu.