WHAT: As part of Opportunity Agenda, Monroe Community College’s accelerated precision tooling certificate program is enabling 15 residents in the city of Rochester and the nine-county region to gain education and hands-on training in advanced manufacturing, earn a certificate in half the time, and find employment within a year.
Opportunity Agenda is a coordinated approach to address the needs of high-poverty communities within the region. The MCC training program was among the priorities identified in the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council proposal that won state funding in 2013.
The training program strategically addresses the problem of lingering poverty in Rochester as well as area manufacturers’ pressing need for skilled workers. Rochester has the highest percentage of families living in poverty of any city in the state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for the City of Rochester was 9.5 percent in 2013 and has been persistently higher than the averages for New York state and Monroe County since 2001.
WHERE: MCC’s Applied Technologies Center, 2485 W. Henrietta Road in Brighton.
WHEN: Classes begin Sept. 8 and continue through Feb. 27, from 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.
DETAILS: The six-month accelerated certificate program was developed in partnership with the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA) in 2013. Eligible participants are unemployed or underemployed individuals, including military veterans, who have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Upon completing the program, they receive job placement assistance from RTMA.
Of the 13 displaced workers and military veterans in the nine-county region who completed the program in 2013, 10 found employment. Among this year’s participants who completed the program in August, so far 73 percent have been hired; others are in the interview process or enrolled in MCC.
The program received more than $96,000 in state funds to cover students’ educational expenses.
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