ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The federal government is providing $14.6 million to 23 community colleges in New York to enhance job-training programs while other colleges statewide are expected to benefit from private investment linked to the grants.
The U.S. Labor Department grants will train New Yorkers in emerging industries including nanotechnology, bioscience and advanced manufacturing such as aerospace design, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said. Hundreds of employers are already partners in the effort to hire the graduates, he said.
The grants range from $35,000 for Adirondack Community College to $7 million for Monroe Community College. Others receiving them are Broome, Cayuga, Clinton, Corning, Dutchess, Erie, Fulton-Montgomery, Genesee, Herkimer, Hudson Valley, Jamestown, Mohawk Valley, Onondaga, Orange, Rockland, Schenectady, Suffolk, Sullivan, Tompkins-Cortland, Ulster and Westchester community colleges.
Community colleges are part of the State University of New York system. They work closely with local industries to develop educational and training programs needed for jobs in their region. Other SUNY schools will benefit from private investment, Schumer said.
"This federal support will help grow SUNY's already powerful capacity to train the advanced manufacturing workforce that is in such high demand in New York and across the country," said State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher.
New York state's unemployment rate for August was 9.1 percent, higher than the national rate of 8.6 percent. In July 2011, the state unemployment rate was 8.3 percent, according to the state Labor Department.
Schumer said the grants are aimed at providing trained employees fast to help in New York's economic recovery.
SUNY lost out in the first round of the competition. Since then, SUNY revamped the proposal to serve emerging and established companies already in New York and Schumer said he lobbied the White House. The grants target fields that are in line for state tax breaks to help companies expand under an economic development program under Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"This multimillion investment is a game changer," Schumer said Wednesday. The grants "will connect unemployed New Yorkers with the state's top employers that are ready to hire skilled workers in their own backyard."