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Highly Skilled Manufacturing, Agribusiness poised to become catalysts for thriving Finger Lakes economy

posted by Brian Kolb on Friday July 26th 2:29pm

Part of what makes the Finger Lakes area so exceptional is its potential to be an economic generator for all of New York. The fertile farmland throughout the region, paired with a growing demand for highly-skilled manufacturing could add up to a real catalyst for the state’s economy.

 

There is tremendous opportunity here to get our talented young men and women into the workforce, and area community colleges are a successful way to do so. The Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) and Monroe Community College (MCC) are two examples of schools looking to get people working in high-demand degree fields. Both offer certificate programs and classes that provide the next generation of skilled manufacturers, agriculture and viticulture workers with the education and training they need to fill these quality jobs.

 

SUNY, COMMUNITY COLLEGES AND PROFESSIONAL GROUPS ARE DRIVING FORCES IN NEW YORK STATE’S MANUFACTURING AND AGRIBUSINESS

 

As a proud alumnus of FLCC and a former manufacturer, I recommend the school’s excellent advanced degree manufacturing programs, including mechanical technology, instrumentation and control technologies and engineering sciences. I also support the certificate programs encompassing continuing education for advanced manufacturing and “cleanroom” operations. More information on the wide array of available degree programs and course offerings are available on the FLCC Website.

 

On a similar note, MCC offers two-year degree programs dealing with biotechnology, electrical engineering, electronic optics technology, engineering science, mechanical technology and precision machining as well as certificate programs covering electronic technology, precision machining and precision tooling. These are also great programs aimed at just what we New Yorkers and manufacturers need – the ability to create and fill quality jobs with highly skilled local workers. Visit the MCC Website for more information.

 

The State University of New York (SUNY) is now fully immersed in the Federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program, which pairs more than 150 New York businesses and economic-development groups with SUNY to create programs and address the needs of employers in nanotechnology and other advanced manufacturing fields. The $14.6 million grant allocated last year is set to help match job openings with those who have the training, education and skills. MCC has been chosen to spearhead this important program.

 

The Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), through its Partners for Education and Business program, is working to raise student awareness of these exciting job opportunities. MACNY works with students, teachers, employers and job seekers to help generate interest in skilled jobs and make valuable connections. See http://www.macny.org/default.aspx for more information.

 

AGRIBUSINESS IS BIG BUSINESS IN THE FINGER LAKES

 

The Finger Lakes Viticulture Center in Geneva, set to begin construction next year, will serve as the home of FLCC’s new Viticulture and Wine Technology program. The facility will feature a winemaking lab, grape crushing pad and a teaching vineyard and students will be trained for employment opportunities within New York’s wineries.  Details about FLCC's Vitculture Program can be found at http://flcc.edu/academics/viticulture/.

 

MCC’s Agriculture and Life Sciences Institute offers education and academic instruction for farmers, winery operators and professionals involved in renewable energy as well as interested landowners looking to increase the potential profits on their land. Expertise in land-use policy, planning, rules and regulations are all vital to a thriving agribusiness climate. MCC offers training at workshops, on-site consultations, webcast seminars, television conferences and more. Visit http://www.monroecc.edu/depts/agriculture/.

 

Manufacturing and agribusiness are increasingly important as we move toward economic recovery. But a recovery is not enough. With our abundant natural resources and world-class educational community, Finger Lakes businesses should be at the forefront of agricultural production and high-skilled advanced manufacturing. Working families need quality jobs to stay in our community and local companies are paying good salaries to qualified workers. There is great potential in this state and only through education and training can it be fully realized. 

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Assemblyman Kolb represents the 131st Assembly District, which includes Ontario County and parts of Seneca County. Brian Kolb was first elected to the New York State Assembly in a special election held in February 2000 and has been overwhelmingly re-elected ever since.
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