Governor Cuomo Awards $1.2 Million to GCC’s Adult Educational Opportunity Center

Funds to Provide Machining, Welding and HVAC Training

Batavia, New York - Just a few days after New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the $4.2 million Workforce Development Challenge grant recipients, a second Workforce Training Center opened in Niagara County in Lockport, New York to the delight and the anticipation of many, including officials at the Niagara Orleans Board of Cooperative Educational Services (ONBOCES) and the Adult Educational Opportunity Center (AEOC) of Genesee Community College.

The Governor’s Workforce Development Challenge (WDC) was designed to ensure the region’s workforce pipeline meets industry demands. The largest award in the Challenge, $1.2 million, approximately 21% of the total project cost, was granted to the shared partnership between the ONBOCES and the AEOC of GCC for training equipment, facility improvement, personnel and recruitment for two Workforce Training Centers. The first center opened in July of 2018 in Niagara Falls and the second opened Monday, December 17, 2018 in Lockport, NY. Between the two facilities, this program is expected to annually train approximately 170 individuals and place at least 35 individuals directly into industry-related jobs.

With this grant, the Workforce Training Centers in both Niagara Falls and Lockport will expand services to include training in machining, welding, and Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC). In addition, this grant will allow AEOC to expand staff which already covered Orleans County to Niagara County. It is the grant’s mission to assist first-generation, low-income adults toward their post-secondary goals of Trade School or College. The grant program offers adult students the support needed to enter and continue college, regardless of the school or program they attend. AEOC currently serves 1,311 students annually and this grant will assist in providing support to individuals looking to explore High School Equivalency, Trade School and/or college.

“There is a shortage of skilled labor in each of these industries throughout the counties we serve,” said Katherine Trombley, director of GCC’s AEOC. “The AEOC office is very excited to help provide the necessary support services to individuals training in these centers.”

Back in May, Trombley worked with Susan Diemert and Joe Steinmetz of ONBOCES to write and submit a grant application to the Governor’s WDC. The alignments between the mission of the Training Centers and the WDC are many, but near the top of that list is that the Centers offer free tuition assistance options and literacy skills training to interested participants. Affordable training increases the likelihood of completion and success for trainees.

The AEOC will also provide an outreach specialist who will work one-on-one with viable solutions that help individuals overcome obstacles to success. These may include but are not limited to referral services for transportation, daycare, educational funding and housing. For more information about the AEOC, visit www.genesee.edu/aeoc or schedule an appointment by calling 1-888-394-2362 or emailing to AEOC@genesee.edu

To learn more about the ONBOCES programs or Workforce Training Centers, visit www.onboces.org/ or call (716) 731-6800.

Additional WDC details released by the Governor’s office are available at www.governor.ny.gov/news/.

For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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