Workforce Investment Board Gets $660,000 in Grants

Workforce Investment Board Chair Gary Scalzo today announced that the WIB has received $660,000 in grants from the New York State Department of Labor to provide training in the emerging green sector as well as the high-demand health care sector.

            Scalzo said the WIB received:
        $440,000 for an Emerging and Transitional Workers Project that will train about 200 people in green careers and in health care.
        $220,000 for a Disconnected Youth Training Project that will help 80 youth get the skills they need in green construction.
            “These grants are part of the WIB’s efforts to build the regional economy by supplying the trained workers that are essential for economic growth, Scalzo said. “At a time when our regional, state and national economies are in transition, the training funded by these grants will help provide the adults and youth we train with skills that can help them get work now, and then grow as the economy recovers.”
            Local partners were joined by Patricia Fahy, Associate Commissioner for Intergovernmental Affairs and Federal Policy for the New York State Department of Labor and Co-chair of the Disconnected Youth Work Group of the Governor's Children's Cabinet. “The young adults who will be enrolled in these programs are an important population for all of us in New York, because they are the future of our workforce, our communities and our society. Many adults have achieved success after experiencing setbacks in education, because they had someone willing to give them a hand up and a fresh start. We look upon these training programs as a means to provide a new chance at success for young people who have never been successful, but who are too young and too filed with promise for us to give up on.”
            Alice Savino, WIB Executive Director, said the grants are the result of an outstanding partnership. “The planning process to develop the training that is funded by these grants included Herkimer County Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College and Morrisville State College – all of whom are able to provide training in these grants to help our emerging workers. Without this great regional partnership, we would not have been successful in our efforts to secure this funding, and I want to thank the colleges for their efforts.”
            The Emerging and Transitional Workers Project builds upon the Career Pathways project the WIB is already operating with Morrisville, and it includes a special pilot program with MVCC to provide Vocational ESL along with clinical instruction for refugees who want to become nurses aides. HCCC is going to provide non-credit coursework which will help the many people who want to start their own business, Savino said.  Programs that help take young adults from basic skills to technician-level jobs in green areas will also be funded, and all of our colleges will be participating in those programs, Savino said. Green programs that help take young adults from basic skills to technician-level jobs in green areas will also be funded, and all of our colleges will be participating in those programs, Savino said.
            “The Disconnected Youth Training Project replicates two wonderful projects we did this summer with MVCC to renovate the REACH Microenterprise Center in Rome and part of the Vet Center here on Genesee Street as an Internet Café,” Savino said.  “The concept is based on our YouthBuild project – to mix academics and construction skills to teach youth who have not been successful in life that they have what it takes to succeed. We hope to continue working at both projects with this funding, and we will be working to identify other sites as well.”
            Savino said the funding has just been awarded, and that enrollment is likely to start next month.
            College partners praised the grants as a regional step forward.
            Morrisville President Ray Cross said: ““We developed the Renewable Energy Training Center to help our region move forward in all phases of renewable energy and green careers. We are seeing the results of our partnerships and our work together through these new projects.”
            MVCC President Randall VanWagoner said: “The college developed its Recovery Act programs to help our young adults and to help the community. We are very glad the WIB is so pleased with our success that we can expand these projects to serve even more of our young adults who need both stronger academics and updated skills.”
            HCCC President Ann Marie Murray said: “HCCC has a unique blend of programs that can complement what our partners are offering, while also providing both basic skills courses to youth and adults who need them and helping would-be entrepreneurs look at how they can take their skills and develop new businesses here in the Mohawk Valley.”
            Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente said, “The Recovery Act’s goals were to help transform our workforce and our community. Having trained young adults who can grow with the economy when it recovers will help our area both in these difficult times and in the better days to come. The regional unity we have in this project will help create the right attitude for growth.”
            Information on enrollment, when available, will be posted on line at www.working-solutions.org.