Jamestown Community College will receive approximately $5 million in competitive grant funding from the governor's office.
The funding is part of the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program-which aims to stimulate job growth. JCC is part of one of four innovative projects in the state which will be sharing a total of $60 million.
JCC's project, entitled "Retooling the Southern Tier," was a collaborative effort with Alfred State, Broome Community College and Corning Community College. The project participants received a total of $15 million in round two of NYSUNY 2020.
This project responds to industry demand to provide more skilled and technical workers, and to stimulate and grow the economy through the support and development of the local manufacturing base across the Southern Tier. The Retooling the Southern Tier Initiative is a direct match and training program with local advanced manufacturing companies that include Corning, Solepoxy, Raymond and Alstom Air Preheater.
The initiative will provide training courses for these companies for up to 300 students annually, who will become qualified candidates for new and expanded manufacturing jobs.
Nelson Garifi, executive director of marketing and academic initiatives at JCC, said the project was extensive and served a variety of purposes.
"JCC is pleased to receive NYSUNY 2020 funding to help develop the workforce of the Southern Tier," he said. "Along with our three SUNY partners, we are sending a number of messages. We are letting prospective students know that the Southern Tier is a great source of education for manufacturing-related careers. We are letting current Southern Tier manufacturers know that we will strengthen their abilities to remain vital and competitive. And (we) will be encouraging prospective manufacturing employers to locate their businesses here, knowing that a steady workforce will be available."
As for JCC's share, Garifi said the NYSUNY 2020 funding will be put toward facility upgrades and the acquisition of equipment for the Jamestown campus' Manufacturing Technology Institute, as well as supporting facility development and equipment to begin offering manufacturing-related credit and noncredit course offerings at the Cattaraugus County campus in Olean.
Currently, JCC's science, technology, engineering and mathematics division supports the region's manufacturers through credit offerings in CAD/CNC, engineering science, industrial equipment technology, mechanical technology and welding technology.
"In addition, JCC's centers for continuing education work closely with area manufacturers to provide customized training for current employees at all levels across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties," said Garifi.
With a long-term economic impact, the Retooling the Southern Tier Initiative estimates that an additional 2,340 jobs will be introduced to the Southern Tier region by 2022, with an estimated 1,100 introduced within the first three years due to facility obligations, faculty hires, and industry hires and retention.
The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program was initiated in 2011. Its mission is to make SUNY a leading catalyst for job growth throughout the state, strengthen the academic programs of the university centers and demonstrate that New York is open for business.
"The NYSUNY 2020 initiative ties our world-class SUNY system with the state's economic development goals to both create good jobs for New Yorkers and enhance our higher education curriculum and training and research programs," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "I am pleased to award a second round of these grants to projects that will make significant investments to our economy and will grow our agricultural, health, manufacturing, technology and clean energy sectors, and overall boost the economy in Upstate New York."