The programs – identified as opportunities to train individuals for viable job growth in emerging, current, and innovative industry sectors – focus on agribusiness, culinary and hospitality management, robotics and automation, and clean energy.
“JCC is committed to serving the community and region by developing and offering programs that address current and anticipated workforce needs and economic development opportunities,” said JCC president Daniel DeMarte. “By conducting a feasibility study we are better able to align innovation and best practices into strategic directions for the college and Southern Tier.”
Due to major growth regionally and nationally, winemaking and viticulture, brewing and brewing science, and industrial hemp production are considered components of an agribusiness career cluster that could benefit farmers and entrepreneurs.
The culinary and hospitality management industry was identified as another program that could provide skills training for individuals working in the region’s hotels, resorts, and tourism-related fields, JCC’s new tourism and hospitality certificate program, recently approved by the State University of New York and State Education Department, could incorporate ecotourism, events planning, and other hospitality related components into its curriculum.
In response to a charge by SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson for SUNY to help institute clean energy practices, JCC plans to explore a program incorporating skills development in wind, solar, and compressed natural gas systems. JCC began offering a workforce readiness program in HVAC fundamentals two years ago.
Robotics and automation skills, with a focus on mechatronics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, will be the foundation of another program designed to address an occupational gap in the region.
“We are happy to support JCC’s efforts to explore the feasibility of these programs,” said Susan Dundon, a program officer for the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “They align with our foundation’s strategic priority to provide opportunities for upward mobility to middle skill, middle wage jobs in western New York.”
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of southeastern Michigan and western New York. The two areas reflect Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.’s devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise.
Prior to his passing in 2014, Wilson requested that a significant share of his estate be used to continue a life-long generosity of spirit by funding the foundation that bears his name. The foundation has a grantmaking capacity of $1.2 billion over a 20-year period, which expires January 8, 2035. For more information, visit www.rcwjrf.org.