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Recovery Act Grants Will go to Two Area Community Colleges to Train Students, Unemployed, and Current Workers

Two Programs Will Train Over 600 New Workers in Health Care and Biotech Jobs

Schumer: Grants Will Put People in Stable, High Paying Jobs

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Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Capital Region has received two grants totaling $6,247,857 from the U.S. Department of Labor for job training in health care, biotechnology, and biomanufacturing. The funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and is part of the DOL Health Care Sector and Other High Growth and Emerging Industries Grant Program. The first Capital Region recipient is Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) in Troy, which received $3,382,200 for its biotechnology and biomanufacturing program.  Last September, Senator Schumer wrote a letter to DOL Secretary Hilda Solis in support of the HVCC program. The second recipient is Fulton Montgomery Community College (FMCC) in Johnstown, which received $2,865,657 for its nursing program.


"Right now, our first priority must be jobs, jobs, jobs. And this type of training will put people in stable, goodpaying jobs, something that will help their families and help our economy," said Schumer.  "This is a great opportunity to give both students and unemployed workers a future in a growing industry."


Through the Health Care Sector and Other High Growth and Emerging Industries Grant Program, the Department of Labor is investing in job training programs that prepare workers for careers in health care and biotechnology. Employment growth in these industries (particularly in health care) will be driven by the significant demand increases of an aging population and projected retirements for the current workforce.  Additionally, the program includes funding to provide current employees a pathway to career advancement in hightech fields that require new skill sets.


The $3,382,200 awarded to Hudson Valley Community College will fund its Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing program. In partnership with two area high schools, HVCC will serve as a hub for biotechnology and adult education. The program will award graduates with an industryrecognized certificate or an associate degree in biotechnology an additional program in biomanufacturing is in development. HVCC will train 415 displaced workers and college students, 400 of whom will be placed in related jobs. Last fall, Senator Schumer wrote to Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis touting the merits of the HVCC program and the growth potential of the Capital Region's healthcare workforce. The full text of the letter is shown below the grant description.


The $2,865,657 headed to Fulton Montgomery Community College will fund its Healthcare Employment and Leadership Training Hub program (HEALTH) to serve currently unemployed and incumbent workers. FMCC will train a total of 233 people. One hundred two people will complete training to become Certified Nursing Assistants, and 17 will complete the Registered Nurse program. These 102 CNAs and 17 RNs will be then placed in trainingrelated employment. One hundred fourteen current Registered Nurses will complete supervisory training to upgrade their skills. FMCC's HEALTH program has extensive network of community partners including the following:


·          St. Mary's Hospital at Amsterdam

·          Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home

·          Community Healthcare Center

·          Wells Nursing Home

·          River Ridge Living Center

·          Fulton County Residential Health Care Facility

·          Mount Loretto Nursing Home

·          St. Johnsville Rehab and Nursing Center

·          Fulmont Community Action Agency

·          FMS Workforce Solutions

·          Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie Workforce Development Board

·          Centro Civico of Amsterdam

·          HFM BOCES Career and Technical Center

·          Fulton County Department of Social Services

·          Montgomery County Department of Social Services



 The copy of the letter Schumer sent is below:


September 18, 2009 

The Honorable Hilda L. Solis


U.S. Department of Labor

200 Constitution Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20210 

Dear Secretary:  

      I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Hudson Valley Community College for funding under the Health Care Sector and Other High Growth and Emerging Industries Grant Program.  Such funding will allow the Hudson Valley to become the training hub of biotechnology. 


        Hudson Valley Community College is located in the City of Troy in Rensselaer County, New York. The College serves approximately 12,500 students each semester and offers more than seventy degree and certificate programs through its Schools of Business, Engineering and Industrial Technologies, Health Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences. New York's capital region has experienced considerable growth in the biotechnology field, and Hudson Valley Community College has positioned itself as one of the premier institutions to offer biotechnology training. However, the capital region still faces a shortage of qualified biotechnology workforce technicians.  


    With funding, Hudson Valley Community College will be able to build on community's resources as a biotech center, providing biotechnology training for economically disadvantaged and underprivileged individuals residing in New York's capital region. Funds will help cover tuition and book fees, enabling students to fully take advantage of Hudson Valley Community College's lab space and biomanufacturing simulations in its new, stateoftheart science facility.


Funding will also be used to provide retraining for those individuals working in related fields, and I applaud Hudson Valley Community College for its foresight. I hope the application for funding meets with your approval.  

      Thank you for your consideration. For additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Director, Grant Kerr, in my Washington office at 202.224.6542. 




Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator