Skip to main content

Ready for Work

Andrew Cuomo, New York’s Governor, has a mission, and that mission is clearly stated in his mantra: New York is Open for Business. Governor Cuomo believes, and I do as well, that to insure a safe and prosperous future for all New Yorkers, there must be jobs available that provide a livable wage for all New Yorkers. To that end, two years ago, he created ten Regional Economic Development Councils and charged them with the task of devising a regional plan to promote business growth and development that would increase the availability of jobs in each region. Over the last two years, he has provided special funding for projects in each region that supports these goals.

I have had the privilege of being one of two people from Rockland to represent the county on the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC). In the fall of 2012 Rockland’s plan was selected as one of the top four plans, and the region was awarded almost $100,000,000 to support that plan. While there were only one or two projects in Rockland, RCC is part of a regional initiative to bring advanced manufacturing to the region through the Global Advanced Manufacturing Consortium. Specifically, RCC will develop a Proof of Concept Center at our site at Haverstraw. This will aid small businesses in developing three-dimensional designs of products they hope to manufacture. RCC is able to do this because of our Computer-Assisted Design Program, which we can offer both for credit and for non-credit. Further, at Haverstraw we will create a Business Services Center to assist residents who are developing small businesses. We are able to do this because of our ongoing cooperative agreements with our Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE, and our local Workforce Investment Board (WIB). RCC is also part of a grant submission to expand our Advanced Manufacturing efforts over two regions in a project developed with SUNY IT. This project would also allow RCC to expand and enhance its Engineering Science Program, which was approved by SUNY two years ago. This opens the doors to other exciting possibilities.

The Governor’s commitment to jobs and Workforce Development was again emphasized this week with the introduction of the state’s next budget. The budget contains a special $3,000,000 allocation available to colleges that can demonstrate an increased number of graduates in associate degrees in Occupational Studies and Applied Studies, degrees that qualify students for immediate employment.

Also, funding will be available to colleges that offer degrees that are cited by the Department of Labor because of the demand for qualified workers in these areas.

These initiatives are exciting and are also challenging for RCC. I am confident that the college will meet this challenge both to support economic development and to provide quality programs for students who wish to transfer.

President Wood visits with students in an Introduction to Baking class, which is part of RCC’s Hospitality & Tourism Program. Hospitality is one of the growth industries identified for the Mid-Hudson Region.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Tribute to Trustee Richard E. Voigt

Richard E. Voigt Memorial July 13, 2018
​Remarks by President Emeritus Cliff L. Wood I love/loved Dick Voigt and was honored when his beloved Elisabeth asked me to speak this morning.  Elisabeth, you know you were the love of his life and that he adored you, “his great beauty.”  That’s a sentiment shared by many of us—you are beautiful in every way.    I remember Dick telling me when he knew he loved you.  He had returned to Germany to visit you in your hometown and you were together at a bar.  He looked over and there you were, elegant and sophisticated, leaning against a grand piano, another love of his.
I first met Dick in 2005 shortly after I came to RCC and when Dick was appointed Trustee, a position he held at the time of his passing.  A few days after Dick’s appointment, he called and invited me to lunch before I had a chance to call him.  I was impressed by his warmth and generosity of spirit, and my feelings have never changed.  Dick told me that as a Trustee, his job was to supp…

Goals and Gold

My goal when I came to RCC in May of 2004 was to create a student-centered environment that put students and their learning and success at the center of the institution. I knew that for that to happen, there had to be transformation and change. And, since teaching and learning are the primary mission of the College, I knew that first we had to look at how we teach and how our students learn. Early in my tenure, I established the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), and now, after more than ten years, CETL has thrived, and each year it has provided an array of programs to help and encourage our faculty.

In addition to CETL, over the last several years, the State University of New York (SUNY) has charged its community colleges with looking at how they teach, especially in the areas of English and math, and to re-think remediation. RCC has emerged as a leader in both of these areas, and SUNY cites RCC as a model for its new math program called QUANTWAY and our developme…

A Special Holiday Gift from the Riversville Foundation

On Tuesday, December 6, RCC and BOCES administrators gathered for a luncheon with this year's student recipients of the Riversville Foundation scholarship awards. The Riversville Foundation was founded in 2006 by Barton Biggs, a former partner at Morgan Stanley and founder of Traxis Partners, a hedge-fund based in Greenwich, CT.  Biggs, who died in 2012, believed in the power of education, and particularly the importance of a college degree. While Riversville has primarily worked with four-year institutions, beginning in 2014, the Riversville Foundation began a collaboration with Rockland Community College. This year, full one-year scholarships were awarded to 21 RCC students, a commitment of more than $95,000.

Under the direction of the Riversville Foundation's Executive Director, Bruno Casolari, a former Director of Resource Development at RCC, the Foundation has awarded more than $135,000 in need-based scholarships to more than 25 Rockland Community College stud…