June 13, 2013
State will provide High Needs Funding
Farmingdale State College (SUNY) has been awarded $306,000 to establish a Sustainable Energy Technology Program, including the expanding of curriculum and the hiring of more faculty. The funding is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's program to support workforce development in high needs career fields throughout New York State.
The funding will permit Farmingdale to develop and expand programs in renewable clean energy to satisfy strong current and projected workforce needs for professionals in energy-related industry, as well as to accommodate high interest on the part of students. Students enrolled in Construction/Architecture Management Technology, Electrical/Computer Engineering Technology and Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering Technology will be able to incorporate renewable energy classes into their programs.
"Support for our sustainable energy initiatives will allow the college to enroll more students, hire more professors and provide the workforce needed for these in-demand careers," Farmingdale State College President Hubert Keen said.
Over a three-year period, more than $12 million will be awarded to 63 programs created by SUNY campuses throughout the state.
"The High Needs Program and others like it are helping fulfill SUNY's original purpose: to be world class institutions that foster cutting edge innovation and train the next generation of high tech workers," said Governor Cuomo. "SUNY is leading the way in the workforce training that is tailored to the jobs of tomorrow. Coupled with the Tax-Free NY initiative, this program will encourage new entrepreneurs to start their businesses in New York, keep their business in New York, grow their businesses in New York and, most importantly, hire New Yorkers."
The SUNY High Needs Program was established to meet state demand for nurses and engineers. SUNY recently worked with the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) and Empire State Development (ESD) to determine which career fields should be added to the program to answer today's statewide workforce demands as well as current needs by region.
"The impact that SUNY's High Need Program has already had on New York State has been substantial, with more than 1,000 students per year added or retrained in nursing and engineering, alone, since 2006," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "By expanding our target fields to include emerging 21st-century demands, we are ensuring that SUNY students are graduating with the skills and expertise that New York employers are looking for."
Occupations are considered high need if they are projected to have a large number of total openings, a high growth rate, or a combination of both in the coming years, based on DOL data. The six statewide high needs areas the program is currently focused on are: Engineering-Engineering Technologies, Healthcare, Renewable-Clean Energy, Biomedical-Biotechnical, Agriculture-Agriculture Business, and Information Technology.