Jamestown Community College is among the 36 State University of New York campuses to receive funding over the next three years to support workforce development in high-need career fields throughout New York state.
The college will receive $363,097 through the SUNY High Needs Program, which is designed to meet state demand for nurses and engineers. SUNY recently worked with the state Labor Department and Empire State Development to determine which career fields should be added to the program to answer today's state-wide workforce demands as well as current needs by region.
"The High Needs Program and others like it are helping fulfill SUNY's original purpose: to be world class institutions that foster cutting edge innovation and train the next generation of high tech workers," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "SUNY is leading the way in the workforce training that is tailored to the jobs of tomorrow. Coupled with the Tax-Free NY initiative, this program will encourage new entrepreneurs to start their businesses in New York, keep their business in New York, grow their businesses in New York and, most importantly, hire New Yorkers."
Occupations are considered high need if they are projected to have a large number of total openings, a high growth rate or a combination of both in the coming years, based on Labor Department data.
The six statewide high needs areas the program is currently focused on are: Engineering-Engineering Technologies, Healthcare, Renewable-Clean Energy, Biomedical-Biotechnical, Agriculture-Agriculture Business, and Information Technology.
Labor Department data shows New York will need 2,340 engineers and engineering technologists, 15,660 new healthcare practitioners and health technicians and 800 new farming, fishing and forestry personnel per year to meet the state's needs over the next decade.
Within the area of renewable-clean energy, the top five occupations the Labor Department has identified as a high need for New York are civil engineers, environmental engineers, electrical and electronics engineering technicians, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers, and mechanical engineers.
Occupations within the area of biomedical-biotechnical including biological technicians, chemical technicians, and medical/clinical laboratory technicians are considered high need; and the state needs to keep pace with a national trend seeking experts in information technology such as Cloud computing, smartphones, tablets, and easily accessible software applications.
"Without the SUNY High Needs Program, these campuses could not provide the instructional and support staff and specialized equipment needed to enroll more students in these fields," said David K. Lavallee, SUNY provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.
Every SUNY campus was eligible for funding as part of the High Needs Program. The number and amount of awards given is based on the quantity, quality and scope of applications received, and varies from $21,000 to over $500,000 per project over three years.
Program funding is competitive and limited to one to three years of support for new program development or program expansion, so the program can continue to be flexible and adjust to changing state needs. To receive funding, campuses must demonstrate how their program will become self-sustaining after the three-year period.