Partnerships strive to keep food and agricultural industries robust
Food manufacturing plants in the Finger Lakes region are thriving and fueling a growing demand for skilled workers in agricultural and food-related industries. Employment needs in these industries are expected to increase 4 percent to 20 percent annually for the next five years.
To help develop the skilled workforce needed to sustain the industries’ economic growth, Monroe Community College has created an agriculture and food studies certificate program that prepares individuals for careers and advancement in agriculture, food production and food processing.
The certificate program is part of the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative, a collaborative effort led by Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies to provide hands-on assistance programs, training, and partnerships that support economic growth and job creation in the food processing cluster.
The curriculum will focus on areas that local employers have indicated are important: presence and impact of pathogens and contaminants at various points of food production, principles of food safety and sanitation, and issues related to food quality assurance.
The program, open to all students, benefits unemployed and underemployed individuals with some postsecondary education and/or work experience. Graduates will be prepared for immediate employment in a wide range of positions.
Regional employers reported career opportunities as agricultural and food science technicians; food processors; wholesalers, retailers and suppliers; machine operators and tenders; first-line supervisors; farm and ranch managers; and sales representatives.
The certificate program, offered as a two- and a four-semester schedule this fall on MCC’s Brighton Campus through the college’s biology department, is approved by the State University of New York and registered by New York State Education Department.
For more information about the program and/or to enroll, call the Admissions office at (585) 292-2200 or visit www.monroecc.edu/go/agriculture. Deadline for admissions application is Aug. 18; classes begin on Sept. 2.
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