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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2008

SCHUMER, CLINTON PUSH TO SECURE GRANT FOR SUNY CONSORTIUM TO IMPLEMENT CUTTING-EDGE CAREER EDUCATION, WORKFORCE TRAINING PROGRAM


Funding Would Help Upstate New York Address Workforce Needs and Regional Challenges

Schenectady County Community College, Hudson Valley Community College, Adirondack Community College, Columbia Greene Community College and SUNY Cobleskill To Benefit

Schumer, Clinton: It Is Critical to Strengthen and Train Our Workforce

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton today pushed to secure much-needed grant funding for a consortium of State University of New York campuses in the Greater Capital Region that would allow them to implement a new, cutting-edge approach for career education, workforce training and skill acquisition. The Schenectady County Community College applied for the grant on behalf of the Greater Capital Region’s Alliance for Cyberlearning and Workforce Training under the Employment and Training Administration’s Community-Based Job Training Grant Program. With funding, the Alliance would be able to implement an innovative cyberlearning strategy with a coalition of top-notch community colleges, K-12 school districts, BOCES, economic development agencies and workforce programs that would develop new, accessible training opportunities to increase students’ technology skills.

 

In an effort to strengthen and train the Capital Region’s workforce, Senators Schumer and Clinton urged the Department of Labor Secretary to consider the application.

 

“This collaborative effort will address some of the local challenges facing the Capital Region today,” said Schumer. “This grant is a unique and cost-effective way to deliver workforce training and education. I am happy to support the SUNY consortium to help obtain this funding for Schenectady County Community College and its partners so that Upstate New York has the resources it needs to train and educate its workers.”

 

“This partnership is exactly the kind of forward thinking solution that is needed to address the challenges facing the region,” said Senator Clinton. “By combining the resources of these SUNY institutions with this critical grant funding we would be taking a positive step in delivering innovative workforce training options that are needed in the Capital Region. I’m proud to support the efforts of Schenectady County Community College and their partners, and I strongly urge the Department of Labor to approve their application for federal funding.”

 

The Capital Region currently faces significant challenges in the workforce education and training sector. Despite the increased demand from regional high growth industries for critical technology-based skills, the region still lacks adequate infrastructure to educate and train a digitally capable regional workforce.

 

With funding, the Alliance for Cyberlearning and Workforce Training will partner with Schenectady County Community College, Hudson Valley Community College, Adirondack Community College, Columbia Greene Community College and SUNY Cobleskill to implement the Virtual Education Opportunity Project.  This innovative cyberlearning strategy will enable a coalition of top-notch community colleges, K-12 school districts, BOCES, economic development agencies and workforce programs to collaboratively expand existing capacity and develop new accessible training opportunities in order to address globally competitive high growth technology skill requirements.       

 

The Virtual Education Opportunity Project will introduce faculty, students, workforce professionals, jobseekers and private industry partners to a cutting edge 21st Century approach for career education, workforce training and skill acquisition.  In addition to incorporating virtual training into existing curriculum and programs, this project will develop innovative training simulations such as virtual clean room training, laboratory training in biotechnology, nanotechnology, safety training, advanced manufacturing skills, energy and homeland security.

 

The Senators wrote, “It is vital to encourage strategic cooperation in addressing the workforce needs of regional high growth industries, and we applaud Schenectady County Community College and its partners for their foresight.” 

 

A full copy of the letter is below

 

The Honorable Elaine Chao

Secretary

U.S. Department of Labor

200 Constitution Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20210

 

Dear Secretary Chao:

 

            We are pleased to write in support of the application submitted by Schenectady County Community College on behalf of the Greater Capital Region’s Alliance for Cyberlearning and Workforce Training and a consortium of State University of New York campuses in the greater Capital District region for funding under the Employment and Training Administration’s Community-Based Job Training Grant Program.  Such funding would enable Schenectady County Community College and its partners to implement the Virtual Education Opportunity Project.

 

            In today’s global workplace, both existing and emerging industries are becoming more dependent on digitally capable workers.  Upstate New York currently faces significant challenges in the workforce education and training sector. Despite the increased demand from regional high growth industries for critical technology-based skills, Upstate New York still lacks adequate infrastructure to educate and train a digitally capable regional workforce.

 

With funding, the Alliance for Cyberlearning and Workforce Training will partner with Schenectady County Community College, Hudson Valley Community College, Adirondack Community College, Columbia Greene Community College and SUNY Cobleskill to implement the Virtual Education Opportunity Project.  This innovative cyberlearning strategy will enable a coalition of top-notch community colleges, K-12 school districts, BOCES, economic development agencies and workforce programs to collaboratively expand existing capacity and develop new accessible training opportunities in order to address globally competitive high growth technology skill requirements.        

 

It is vital to encourage strategic cooperation in addressing the workforce needs of regional high growth industries, and we applaud Schenectady County Community College and its partners for their foresight.  We hope the application for funding meets with your approval.

 

Thank you for your consideration of this application. 

 

     Sincerely,

 

 

 

Charles E. Schumer                                                                              Hillary Rodham Clinton

United States Senator                                                                           United States Senator

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