SUNY Community Colleges Help Drive Workforce Development
Senator Schumer recently announced that he is pushing for $15 million federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant that would enable the SUNY community colleges to establish a state-wide program to train veterans and those who have been laid off in the rapidly growing field of Mechatronics.
Mechatronics is a combination of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering, control, and computer engineering. In Upstate New York alone, companies are estimated to have up to 20,000 new job openings created in this industry by 2020. SUNY is poised to answer the call.
The SUNY community colleges have already identified local industry partners to help train students and ultimately give them a job as well. Students who successfully gain certification or degrees in this discipline are eligible for a variety of jobs in the field, including maintenance /repair worker, industrial machinery mechanic, technical sales representative, electrical and electronics industry technician, and more.
SUNY has a proven track record of success with the TAACCT program, having developed “Training and Education in Advanced Manufacturing (TEAM) Educational Pathways,” with $14.6 million from TAACCCT in 2012. That program established permanent worker training programs at the community colleges in high tech industries like nanotechnology and the biosciences and it was highly successful.
A new SUNY program to address New York’s workforce needs in Mechatronics would have a tremendous impact on communities throughout the state and introduce a new opportunity for veterans and the unemployed to build a successful new career in an expanding industry.