The results of a recent feasibility study, completed by SUNY Jamestown Community College’s Workforce Readiness, examined four new potential program areas, indicating positive projections for skills development and training within the region.
“This feasibility study opens so many doors for JCC and proves that we have been making the concepts of workforce readiness and development a priority — just as we promised it would,” Holger Ekanger, vice president for Workforce Readiness, said.
Sixteen recommendations were made specific to four different industry sectors: Agribusiness, Clean Energy, Culinary & Hospitality Management and Robotics & Automation.
“The report provides us with very specific recommendations while validating strategies already planned or implemented,” Ekanger said. “That includes the need for more personalized and customized programs; for short-term programs with flexible schedules; for educational offerings better aligned with jobs; and for increased applied learning opportunities, and soft/success skills embedded in courses and programs.”
Encouragingly, several initiatives recommended have already begun. Among new programs being offered are 10-week training sessions for the Maintenance Technician and Machining/CNC Operator fields that target the underemployed, unemployed, and those seeking a new career. Information sessions are taking place throughout the month of February.
Additionally, the department has targeted offerings in automation, controls and robotics for employers at the technician and engineering level, received funding to scale apprenticeship programs and is in the third year of offering a successful HVAC program, among many others.
Other programs and initiatives are also in development, including a NYSERDA-approved consortium grant led by the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities that will help the college develop a building automation technician program that is schedule to begin in the Fall of 2021; and a reboot of Career Advantage, which focuses on adult learner.
The study was made possible through a generous donation from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.
An Ann Arbor, Michigan-based planning firm, SmithGroup, produced the study over the course of the last year. SmithGroup partnered with labor market data company EMSI to conduct a program demand analysis using job posting data and A I R, a Buffalo-based architectural firm to assess facility conditions for potential new space requirements. The study also worked closely with and gathered input from community and industry leaders in the JCC service area, which spans Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties.
“We are incredibly excited about the opportunities this feasibility study opens up for our Workforce Readiness team,” Dr. Daniel DeMarte, JCC president, said. “The future of this department will be key in helping us strategize toward regaining the momentum our community had prior to the impact of COVID-19 and moving forward.”
For additional details and to read the feasibility study in full, visit sunyjcc.edu/workforce-readiness/feasibility-study.