Archive for the ‘Workforce Development News’ category

Kirsten Gillibrand Announces Bipartisan Legislation To Promote Vocational Education & Entrepreneurship, Train Future Workforce For 21st Century Economy

October 3, 2017

Ahead Of Manufacturing Day, Senator Gillibrand Announces Legislation To Train The Next Generation Of Manufacturers, More Than 3,700 Albany County Students and 377,000 Students Statewide Currently Enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Training Could Benefit from This Legislation

The bipartisan legislation, 21st Century Strengthening Hands On Programs that Cultivate Learning Approaches for Successful Students Act. This bill would direct federal funding to high-tech training and education programs in high schools and institutions of higher education, which would give more students the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to get good-paying jobs in the high-tech manufacturing sector. U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is a cosponsor of this bill.  A bipartisan House version of this legislation was introduced by Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Mark Takano (D-CA), and Susan Brooks (R-IN).

Technologies like optics manufacturing in all its phases, 3D printers, laser cutters, and computerized machine tools are transforming American manufacturing and increasing the need for specialized training for manufacturing jobs. To prepare our students with the skills needed for high-tech jobs, this legislation would amend the Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Act to give greater priority to funding for maker education, makerspaces, and training for teachers in the application of maker education.

“Many manufacturing companies in our state have job openings with good salaries, but they can’t fill them because too many workers haven’t had the opportunity to learn the skills they need to take on those jobs. We need to fix this,” said Senator Gillibrand“I’m proud to introduce new bipartisan legislation to make sure tech-ed classes are teaching students how to use the latest high-tech tools, like 3D printers, that manufacturing companies expect them to know how to use. Our students should be able to take many different paths in order to get a good job and earn a good salary, and this bill would help equip more students with the skills they need to get on a path towardsgood-paying high-tech jobs when they graduate high school.”

“Students intuitively have a maker mindset,” said Daniel Schneiderman, Founder of NYS Makers“Their spirit needs to be nurtured and encouraged in order to fully equip them with key hands-on skills and creative thinking needed for the 21st century. By extending the current Perkins Act language to support maker education, we’re enabling educators to support their students’ innovative curiosity.”

“The next generation of jobs will require ingenuity, flexibility, and constant reinvention,” said Melinda Mack, Executive Director of the New York Association of Training & Employment Professionals“Using Perkins resources to widen the variety of career opportunities and expose young adults to critical work-skills like team work, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, etc. can only benefit New York and the nation.”

This investment in vocational education would give more students the technical skills needed for good-paying jobs, providing hands-on learning experiences for students to use high-tech industrial tools to create and innovate. This approach to technical education will offer more opportunities to inspire the next generation of manufacturing workers and entrepreneurs. This bill, as well as a broader reauthorization of federal CTE programs, will help promote to career and technical education to set more students up for success by preparing them for the jobs of the future.

Importance of Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Manufacturing Needs Career and Technical Education (CTE)

  • Through 2025, an estimated 2 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers.
  • Modern manufacturing is increasingly high-tech and creates complex technical jobs that require technical-skill training. 70 percent of manufacturing executives indicate a need for more workers who have high-tech skills.
  • Maker education motivates and inspires young people to excel in STEM subjects and prepares students for careers in design, advanced manufacturing, and entrepreneurship that will shape the nation’s economic future.

SCHUMER, GILLIBRAND, SLAUGHTER ANNOUNCE MONROE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SECURES $550,000 TO MAKE COLLEGE A TOP PHOTONICS TRAINING CENTER

April 21, 2017

New York Photonics has been working on getting this designation for over 10 years.  It wasn’t until Professor Alexis Vogt, PhD came to MCC that it began to move forward.  Thank you, Alexis!

SCHOOL AIMS TO MEET GROWING DEMAND FOR SKILLED WORKERS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK

Monroe Community College (MCC), The Only Community College In The Nation Offering An Optics and Photonics Associates Degree, Needed Federal Funds To Expand Facilities, Meet Regional Need For Trained Workers

Over $500K from National Science Foundation (NSF) Is First Step Towards Making MCC the Northeast Regional Center for Optics and Photonics; Schumer, Gillibrand, Slaughter Urged Feds To Approve Funds That Would Support New Equipment, Curriculum & Recruitment

Schumer, Gillibrand, Slaughter: Critical Fed Funds Will Help Build on MCC’s Proven Success in Optics and Photonics

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY25) today announced the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technology Foundation’s Education program has awarded $550,434 for Monroe Community College (MCC). The funding will allow MCC to expand its optics and photonics degree programs, purchase new equipment, as well as develop a new curriculum and expand student outreach.  Optics and photonics involves the science and application of light and are key to many industries including manufacturing, telecommunications and medicine.

“MCC is a proven leader in optics and photonics training, and we have an opportunity here to build on that success by creating a top-notch training center that will prepare Upstate New Yorkers for good-paying, middle-class jobs in this burgeoning field,” said Senator Schumer. “This five hundred thousand will enable MCC to expand its optics and photonics degree programs, update its equipment, and put it on track to become the Northeast Regional Center for Optics & Photonics. This grant is the first step in creating a regional center that will ensure all of New York and the entire Northeast has the workforce it needs to attract, build and sustain a strong photonics industry.”

“This federal funding is great news for Monroe Community College and for the entire Rochester community,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The Rochester area is already at the center of the American optics and photonics industries, and these funds will help secure MCC’s position as a leading training center for students who want good-paying jobs in these fields. I will continue to do everything I can to make sure our students are prepared to take on the good-paying jobs of the future.”

“We have fought hard these last few months to ensure the National Science Foundation understood the important impact this federal award could have in helping train the next generation advanced manufacturing workforce.” Said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.  “It was truly a team effort that would not have been possible without the work of Alexis Vogt and the extraordinary leadership of President Kress. I’m proud to have stood with Monroe Community College in support of their proposal every step of the way. This federal award will help Monroe County continue to lead the world in optics and photonics,” said Slaughter.

MCC is currently the only community college in the U.S. with an optics and photonics associate’s degree program, and is looking to become a major training center for this burgeoning field. Schumer, Gillibrand said that MCC hopes to ultimately become the “Northeast Regional Center for Optics & Photonics,” and this federal funding will help start make that expansion possible.

L to R: student Mark Smith; Professor Bill Strong; Professor Alexis Vogt, PhD; MCC President Anne Kress; Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Additionally this NSF grant is the first step in MCC reaching that goal of becoming a center for photonics training and, eventually, middle-class job growth in this growing industry. Schumer explained that there are currently over 120 optics, photonics and imaging companies that employ over 24,000 people across the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central New York regions.  Schumer, Gillibrand said this federal funding would help provide training for over 800 area high school and college students through the proposed OPT IN! program. Schumer said that OPT IN! would put Rochester area students in the best possible position to pursue higher education and compete in the job market. Not only would it allow high school students to earn college credits, Schumer argued that OPT IN! would make it easier for non-traditional students, such as veterans, to transfer from MCC to four-year universities and to complete critical student internships. The grant would also allow MCC to develop new and revised curriculum, and expand online education. Finally, Schumer explained that OPT IN! would broaden industry and community partnerships aimed at recruitment and education about optics and photonics as a career option.

Dr. Alexis Vogt, Endowed Chair & Associate Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College said, “We are very appreciative of the Senators’ support to help us win this grant.  We are now on our way to making Monroe Community College the home of the Northeast Regional Center for Photonics & Optics.  This grant to allow MCC to strengthen our region’s optics and photonics workforce and provide students here with employment opportunities in regional high skill, high demand positions.  Ultimately this funding gives us the foundation to begin creating a regional center that will ensure all of New York and the entire Northeast has the workforce it needs to attract, build and sustain a strong photonics industry.”

The photonics and optics industry is central to the New York State economy and the Rochester area in particular. According to the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster (RRPC), these companies generate $3 billion in revenue per year, and support 1-in-14 households in Monroe County. In addition to the one-of-a-kind program at MCC, Rochester is home to the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at Rochester Institute of Technology. Statewide, New York universities educate 60 percent of the nation’s optics Ph.Ds.

Schumer, Gillibrand has long championed optics and photonics in the Rochester area. Earlier this year, Schumer, Gillibrand announced that the NSF awarded a $2 million dollar grant to the University of Rochester’s photonics research program. These funds created new opportunities for AIM Photonics Center outreach in the Rochester community. The University of Rochester was able to create K-12 education materials to teach students about photonics and optics.

 A copy of Senator Schumer’s October 2016 letter to the National Science Foundation Director appears below:

Dear Director Cordova,

I am pleased to write in strong support of Monroe Community College (MCC) grant application to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program to enable MCC to expand its optics and photonics education and training program so that MCC can train more students to fill available high skill, high demand positions at local and regional employers.  Currently MCC is the only college in the nation that offers an associate degree program in optics, and yet, in the Rochester region there are now more job openings for these positions than there are graduated students ready to fill these openings.  Thus, MCC’s proposal, named the Optics & Photonics Technology INnovation-OPT IN!, will expand MCC’s work by first expanding and enriching its curriculum to train students for today’s cutting-edge photonics fields, and secondly by linking with secondary schools, universities, and employers to create a seamless pipeline for more students to seek a career in photonics.   

Currently more than 120 optics, photonics, and imaging companies employ over 24,000 people across the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Central New York regions. With an anticipated 3.3% annual employment growth and a workforce that is approaching retirement, the need for skilled optics technicians is outpacing the number of graduates who are prepared to fill positions.  Beyond the specific workforce needs of these existing companies, demand for skilled photonics worker will grow further with the establishment in 2015 of the Rochester, NY headquartered federal American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics).   

To grow the optics and photonics workforce, the proposed OPT IN! program will impact 850 high school and college students including underrepresented, non-traditional students like our growing veteran student population to help them advance their careers.  MCC would expand dual enrollment opportunities for high school students, 2+2 and transfer linkages to four-year universities, student internships, and faculty professional development.  Furthermore the program would develop new and revised curriculum, including online curriculum, at MCC’s Optical Systems Technology program to meet current industry standards.  And by broadening industry and community partnerships it will foster recruitment, retention, and outreach activities to promote the awareness of optics and photonics as career option.

Again, I am pleased to write in support of this win-win proposal that aims to meet both the needs of a student population seeking the skills needed to gain a career in a high tech industry and for the needs of existing photonics businesses seeking new employees to fill current and future job openings.  I appreciate your consideration of this proposal.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator

A copy of Congresswoman Slaughter’s October 2016 letter to the National Science Foundation Director appears below:

Dear Director Cordova,

I am writing to express my support for Monroe Community College’s (MCC) proposal entitled “Optics and Photonics Technology Innovation – OPT IN” to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program.

Starting in 1963, MCC became the first educational institution in the country to offer a two – year Associates degree in optics and continues to set a national example in optics education.  Under the leadership of Professor Alexis Voigt, MCC is pursuing two objectives through this proposal: First, MCC will strengthen the existing optics program by updating the curriculum to meet industry needs, including adding an online format to accommodate students balancing employment.  The program will also prepare regional high school teachers to teach an “Introduction to Optics” course which will expose younger students to optics and provide them an opportunity to launch an early career.  Secondly, I’m pleased this proposal is increasing the program’s outreach efforts to populations underrepresented in the optics industry, such as Women and minorities.

Located within the largest optics and photonics manufacturing region in the world, MCC Optics is playing a central role in providing a qualified workforce to strengthen our nation’s competitiveness in high tech manufacturing.  The Rochester region recently secured the federally supported $600 million American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) that will bring together experts from government, industry, and academia to work together on solving common problems in photonics manufacturing.  This collaboration will result in improved technology for our military and spur job creation through the commercialization of new discoveries.  These important efforts are sustained by workforce development programs, like MCC Optics, that are producing the qualified workforce needed to keep up with industry demands.

Throughout its history, MCC Optics has demonstrated success in providing students the foundation they need for a productive career in optics while also making significant contributions to the region’s economy.  I am proud of the work MCC Optics has done and encourage your full consideration of this proposal.

Sincerely,

Louise M. Slaughter
Member of Congress

Danforth to Offer Free Cleanroom Training

August 1, 2016

Danforth – Victor
930 Old Dutch Rd
Victor, NY 14564

Rochester – August 17

  • 7:30am – Registration/Breakfast
  • 8am – 12pm – Seminar/Lunch
  • 1pm – 2pm – High Purity Fab Facility Tour

Registration:
>>click here<<
By phone: (716) 832-1940 
Ask for Ro Cieri

 

East High School Summer Optics Manufacturing Immersion Concludes

August 1, 2016

… but we have a feeling that some careers are beginning!

  • Nine students in East High’s Precision Optics Fabrication Program worked for 60 hours over 3 weeks making precision optical lenses.
  • The students generated, loose abrasively ground, and polished microscope objectives and lenses for eyepieces and well as other components.
  • Each student measured final parts on a Zygo GPI interferometer, made adjustments to the polishing stroke, and made a final measurement. The minimum specification was ½ wave. The top three final parts were 1/10th wave, 1/7th wave, and 1/6th wave.
  • Students honed their fabrication skills generating, grinding, and polishing blocks of other lenses.
  • Students went on tours of Corning Tropel and QED.
  • When the students come back in the fall, they will continue their work on the alignment of the lenses and assembly into telescope housings.
East-High-Team

Teachers Paul Conrow and Paul Eckert with students on payday. East High students are Jean Carlos Alomar, Alejandra Cedeno, Jonathon Gonzalez, Jemiya Manor, Rishad Ragland, Demier Ramos Hill, Tijanna Stephens, Starr Holmes

A Manufacturer’s Commitment to a Strong Future Workforce #fivepercentpledge

June 24, 2016

You don’t have to simply hope that there will be a skilled workforce available when your workforce begins to retire.  You can actually do something about it now.

Sign the 5% Pledge and pay it forward.  For every 20 employees in your organization hire one temporary intern, co-op, high school student or long-term unemployed individual this summer.  It is a simple idea that will have a valuable pay off in your company’s future.  It has worked for your colleagues and it can work for you.The 5% Pledge

Sign the 5% Pledge

#fivepercentpledge

Successful Optics & Photonics Careers Can Start with a Two Year Degree

June 23, 2016

Has the decades-long march to college-for-everyone-at-18 actually closed off options for teenagers and 20-somethings, rather than opened up opportunities?

We all know teen-aged kids with potential that seem to “underperform” when pursuing a four-year degree.  We also know college grads saddled with debt, who can’t find jobs in their chosen fields.

Maybe a technical certificate that can get you earning or a two-year degree in Optics & Photonics are smart investments.  Monroe Community College offers both in an “in-demand” job market.

Three years ago, the Corning Incorporated Foundation invested $500,000 into improving the MCC program, matched with another $250,000 from Sydor Optics.  Why do you think that is?  The MCC program is the only program of its kind in the nation, and both companies, as other companies do, hire graduates of the program.

The same is true for so many technical and vocational programs offered in the region and across the country.  Why then do some parents continue to spend more for their children to attend four-year colleges than they do on their house?  Is it really nothing more than a gamble?

Nearly 40 percent of American workers hold a bachelor’s degree. College graduates are found in virtually every profession: 15 percent of mail carriers have a four-year degree, as do one in five clerical and sales workers and 83,000 bartenders.

>>Read More Here<<

 

JP Morgan Chase Teams with MCC to Fill Middle-Skills Gap

June 12, 2015

Grant aims to grow the pipeline of middle skills workers.

June 12, 2015 – The Monroe Community College Foundation has been awarded a $320,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase to create a middle-skill bridge program and expand accelerated certificate programs at Monroe Community College.

The grant is part of a larger, $1 million JPMorgan Chase investment to support advanced manufacturing training programs in four upstate New York regions—Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. The grant is associated with the firm’s New Skills at Work initiative, a $250 million commitment to address skill gaps in communitie

more here