MCC Awarded State Grant to Keep At-risk Students in School

$355,000 supports Liberty Partnerships Program at Downtown Campus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Aug. 1, 2017 – Monroe Community College is among three Greater Rochester colleges awarded Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) grants to help at-risk students in grades 5-12 successfully graduate, the New York State Education Department recently announced. Statewide, 44 colleges and universities will receive LPP grants totaling more than $17 million.

LPP is a state-funded dropout prevention program that links local school districts with colleges and community-based organizations. The five-year, $355,000 grant awarded to MCC will support about 285 middle and high school LPP students each year. A complete list of LPP grant recipients is available online.

Housed on MCC’s Downtown Campus, the LPP at MCC has served at-risk, low-income students for 28 years through comprehensive programs — including skills assessment, tutoring, mentoring, and college/career exploration, student leadership opportunities, and community service projects — to prepare students to successfully transition into postsecondary education or the workforce. On average, 87 percent of MCC LPP participants graduate from high school in four years; 86 percent on average enroll in college.

Media Contact:
Hency Yuen-Eng
Marketing and Community Relations

MCC’s Downtown Campus to Add Cohort-Based Certificate Program

Students will attend all classes together, increasing likelihood of graduating

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – July 5, 2017 – With health care being among the Rochester area’s top industries, Monroe Community College is redoubling its efforts to prepare individuals for the high-demand career of medical office assistant — a field that has grown about 5 percent over the past two years.

MCC has developed a cohort-based medical office assistant certificate program, allowing students to attend every class together for the duration of the program at the Downtown Campus and increasing the likelihood that a student will persist and graduate. The model is focused on building a tight-knit learning community of peers who use one another as resources and collaborate on projects and in discussions.

Participants learn specialized health care record-keeping procedures and use the same high-tech computer systems found in today’s medical offices. In addition to developing strong technical skills, students will learn to effectively communicate with patients and health care professionals and gain introductory knowledge of biology, medical terminology, drugs and emergency care.

Graduates can begin their careers in hospitals, private practices and dental clinics as administrative assistants, medical records and health information technicians, and medical record coders.

Employment opportunities for medical office assistants are projected to increase by 11 percent over the next decade, according to MCC’s Career Coach. Within the past year alone, nearly 30 local businesses have posted job openings for medical office assistants.

Offered through MCC’s Information and Computer Technologies Department, classes will begin Sept. 5 atMCC’s Downtown Campus, 321 State St. in Rochester. Deadline to register for fall 2017 is Aug. 30. Financial aid for qualified individuals and support services—including job placement assistance—are available through MCC and community partners.

For individuals wanting flexible course schedules, a traditional medical office assistant certificate program is offered at the Brighton Campus.

For more information about the certificate program and enrollment, call (585) 292-2200.

Information sessions on the program will be held at 1 p.m. July 11 and Aug. 1 at MCC’s Applied Technologies Center, 2485 W. Henrietta Road in Brighton.

Media Contact:
Hency Yuen-Eng
Marketing and Community Relations

New MCC Program Prepares Students for High-demand Careers in Fast-growing Mechatronics Field

Area employers and faculty members at five SUNY campuses developed curriculum.

BRIGHTON, N.Y. – July 3, 2017 – As advanced manufacturers increasingly rely on state-of-the-art equipment—and on technicians qualified to operate these complex and expensive machines—to compete in the global economy, these employers face a critical demand for workers skilled in ensuring the technologies function properly.

The field of mechatronics—a specialty within advanced manufacturing that incorporates engineering, mechanics, electronics and other technical work—is rapidly growing in the Finger Lakes region. Nearly 170 job openings are anticipated annually for mechatronics-related positions, according to MCC’s 2015 Measuring Middle-Skills Occupational Gaps within the Finger Lakes Regional Economy report.

In collaboration with four SUNY community colleges and industry partners throughout the state, Monroe Community College has developed a mechatronics certificate program to prepare more qualified candidates for regional employers.

The program prepares students for careers as technicians skilled in assembling, maintaining, troubleshooting, repairing and upgrading automated manufacturing production systems. The systems usually consist of hydraulic and pneumatic components, mechanical systems, electronic sensors and motors, and computers that monitor and control the production process. Such machines can be found in automotive, medical, defense, biotechnology and electronics manufacturing environments.

The curriculum covers the electrical operation of industrial production systems, pneumatics, hydraulics, automated systems maintenance, tools used to identify and repair malfunctions, and safe work practices. Students will learn the most current processes and techniques, work on high-tech industry standard equipment purchased through other resources and valued at nearly $500,000, and participate on team projects that simulate industry scenarios.

Graduates can immediately begin their careers as equipment maintenance technicians and industrial equipment maintenance technicians, electro-mechanical technicians and robotics technicians.

Program graduates can also build upon their certificate and apply their earned course credits toward an associate degree in applied integrated technology.

The certificate program was developed with input from area employers and faculty members at MCC and four other SUNY campuses: Fulton-Montgomery, Schenectady, Mohawk Valley and Hudson Valley community colleges. As a result of the multi-campus collaboration, students can pursue a mechatronics certificate at any of these schools. Each certificate is tailored to their region’s specific workforce needs.

The SUNY consortium’s efforts were supported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s $14.6 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. The grant enabled the SUNY consortium to work with industry partners to design mechatronics programs and further the capacity of SUNY colleges to offer education and training in this field.

MCC’s mechatronics certificate program was recently approved by the New York State Department of Education and the State University of New York. Classes are being offered at MCC’s Brighton Campus and at Eastman Business Park. Deadline to register for fall 2017 is Aug. 30.

For more information about the program and enrollment, call (585) 292-2200.

Media Contact:
Hency Yuen-Eng
Marketing and Community Relations

New Monroe County-MCC Initiative to Connect Residents to High-Demand Careers

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – June 20, 2017 – Imagine Monroe (formerly known as the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency) and Monroe Community College (MCC) are teaming to alleviate a persistent challenge in the Finger Lakes region —the disconnect between the number of people seeking full-time employment and the unfilled positions in the area.

The new LadderzUp workforce development initiative leverages Imagine Monroe’s and MCC’s resources and expertise to provide ladders of educational and training opportunities aligned with current and future job openings in high-demand industries for Monroe County residents.

“A trained and skilled workforce is a tremendous asset to our economy,” said County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “When businesses are looking to locate or expand in Monroe County, they expect a trained workforce. LadderzUp works on the concept that education and training enable residents to move up the economic ladder and provides tailor-made job training programs that ultimately lead to job placement.”

The partnership will begin with first-year funding of $355,000 from Imagine Monroe to support a minimum of 45 individuals with accelerated education and training focused on advanced manufacturing, health care and information technology.

Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational options, which include credit and noncredit programs. Upon completion, students will be prepared to immediately enter the workforce or continue their education at MCC.

MCC’s Economic & Workforce Development Center will recruit participants, targeting Monroe County residents and businesses, with a focus on serving incumbent workers seeking new skill sets and job opportunities.

“Monroe County’s investment is critically important if we’re going to meet employers’ workforce needs and provide opportunities for local residents to achieve their goals and aspirations,” said MCC President Anne M. Kress. “Together, we can move our region forward, assuring all members of our community can access pathways to prosperity and enjoy brighter economic futures.

“Through the LadderzUp initiative, we are connecting individuals with in-demand career opportunities and helping combat the shortage of middle-skill workers, a systemic problem that has to be solved collectively,” said Todd Oldham, vice president of MCC’s Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services Division. “This program is an important plank in our strategy to narrow opportunity gaps for students and fulfill employers’ evolving workforce demands. We’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Monroe County to move our economy forward.”

Media Contact:
Cynthia Mapes
Marketing and Community Relations

The latest news!

MCC’s economic and workforce development division has launched its inaugural newsletter featuring the latest news and updates regarding divisional work. A newsletter will be distributed twice a year.

If you are interested in joining the distribution list, please Join Our Database.


The MCC Economic and Workforce Development Center is moving!

On May 17, 2017 the MCC Economic and Workforce Development Center will open in a new space on the 7th floor of MCC’s Downtown Campus located at 321 State Street in downtown Rochester. The Economic and Workforce Development Center includes the following:

  • Office of the Vice President for the Economic and Workforce Development Division
  • Corporate College
  • Grants Office
  • Secondary Education Partnerships
  • Marketing Operations for Economic and Workforce Development

Work experience and job placement for career technical education students.

MCC’s economic and workforce development division works closely with numerous local businesses, education partners, industry associations, and community based organizations to anticipate workforce needs and provide education programs which address those needs. However, sometimes, seeking collaborative partners is a matter of focusing internally.

Through cross-divisional collaboration between the career services office, part of the student services division, and career technical education, part of the economic and workforce development division, the College has been able to place a greater focus on work experiences and job placement opportunities for career technical education students. As a result of collaboration, last year, 736 connections were made between career technical education students and local employers.

The hope is to continue to grow this program and expand the ability to connect students to employment opportunities in the community. This is a win-win situation – students get jobs and valuable work experience, and employers gain direct access to qualified workers.

Finger Lakes Regional Workforce Development Center at Eastman Business Park.

MCC has been awarded nearly $12 million in state funds to establish the Finger Lakes Regional Workforce Development Center at Eastman Business Park. The Center represents one of three Rochester-based anti-poverty projects to receive state funding. The investments complement Finger Lakes Forward, the region’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative blueprint aimed at growing the economy.

The Center ( is an outgrowth of key efforts by the MCC economic and workforce development division over the past five years and is one aspect of a larger vision to better support the community’s workforce, employers’ needs and our regional economy. The vision for the center includes creating flexible spaces that support a variety of programs and allow for quick modification of programming, credit and noncredit, to match the skills the College has measured as being most in demand within the region.

Once operational, in the first five years the Center is expected to train an estimated 2,300 workers and add more than approximately $40 million in economic benefits to the region in the form of worker salaries and increased supply chain value.

Using big data to lead collaborative economic and workforce development interventions.

A new beta version 1.0 web platform,, was recently launched to estimate the middle-skills gaps within three upstate New York regions including Finger Lakes, Western New York, and Central New York, using labor market data from multiple big data providers. This platform is designed for workforce practitioners, educators, and economic developers, and uses MCC’s previously published report titled, Measuring Middle-Skills Occupational Gaps within the Finger Lakes Regional Economy, as a template for the data framework. Like the report, the platform uses a labor supply/labor demand analysis applied to middle-skills occupational groups from four workforce clusters: advanced manufacturing, applied technologies, information and computer technology, and health care. The sector analysis includes dashboards identifying and measuring educational attainment through a region’s capacity to produce certificate and degree completions against estimated annual openings for each middle-skills occupational group.

The point of the initiative is not measurement for measurement sake but making the information actionable and impactful, and to convene regional economic and workforce development collaborations that positively impact the community. To support this objective, a Regional Advisory Board that consists of economic developers, workforce practitioners, secondary and post-secondary educators, professional associations and community partners has been assembled. Their input and perspective continue to play a role in the development of the platform, and there is active discussion around collaboration opportunities. Currently, MCC is working with secondary education partners to roll-out several projects that integrate the web platform into their regular work in meaningful ways.

Additionally, the Monroe County division of Economic Development and Planning has embraced as a tool to better develop data informed economic and workforce development programs. This is a major step in reaching the website objective to become the tool-of-record for the region in the development of economic development strategy and middle skills gap analyses.

Development of the platform was funded in part by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Regional Advisory Board. Pictured left to right, front row: Mike Mandina, Optimax; Lynn Fried, Workforce Development Institute; Joe Nairn, Finger Lakes Community College; Mike Woloson, Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board; Lee Koslow, RochesterWorks; Susan Allen, East Irondequoit School District; Carol Stehm, Gate-Chili School District; Karen Poland, Monroe-2 BOCES.  Back row: John Lisak, Monroe-1 BOCES; Chris Wiest, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; Colleen DiMartino, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce; Keith Babuszczak, Rochester City School District; Jill Slavny, Monroe-2 BOCES; Joe Wesley, Wegmans; Todd Oldham, Monroe Community College; Joe Hamm, NYS Dept. of Labor; Kevin Kelley, Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association; Gloria Morgan, Rochester Educational Opportunity Center; Richard Fox, Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise; Rich Turner, Monroe County Economic Development.

Not pictured: Karen Springmeier, Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board; Matt Hurlbutt, Greater Rochester Enterprise; Steve Hyde, Genesee County Economic Development Center; Kent Gardner, Center for Governmental Research; Roosevelt Mareus, SUNY Brockport; Peter Pecor, RochesterWorks; Reid Smalley, Genesee Community College; Shaun Nelms, Rochester City School District; Bill Rotenberg, Monroe Community College/P-TECH; Paul Burke, Rochester City School District; Charles Dipasquale, Genesee Valley BOCES; Matt Flowers, Genesee Valley BOCES; Cherie Becker, Monroe-1 BOCES; Annette Christensen, Monroe-1 BOCES; Erin Fairben, Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES; Kathleen Richardson, Greece Central School District; Jon Sanfratello, Genesee Valley BOCES; Michele Sullivan, Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES.

New York INSPIRE project: tuition-free education and training.

Under the leadership of the economic and workforce development division, MCC has been awarded a $6 million America’s Promise grant through the U.S. Department of Labor. The grant is a portion of a $111 million package of federal grants awarded late last year. Nearly two dozen community colleges across the country received grants as part of the Obama administration plan to invest in education and training programs and create more pathways to employment for millions of Americans.

The MCC award is funding NY INSPIRE, a 4-year project, which includes a consortium of local community colleges and partners led by MCC. The objective is to connect under-served urban and rural youth, veterans, and incumbent workers with tuition-free training and education in advanced manufacturing, information technology, and health care occupations.

Programs will include a variety of work-based learning opportunities to help participants obtain necessary skills, competencies and credentials including apprenticeship, on-the-job training, paid work experience and paid internships. A mixture of classroom education, cohort-based learning and technology-enabled training strategies will also be used.

To learn more about the NY INSPIRE project, contact MCC at