MCC Grant Helps Provide Worker Training
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"Well I knew, coming from a female standpoint, it was gonna be challenging," said Bethany Toups, student.
Toups is the only woman enrolled in the automotive program at the Applied Technologies Center at Monroe Community College in Brighton. This is her final semester, she graduates in November.
"So I've gone out and I've applied diligently for 15 positions and I got three call backs and every single call back offered me a job," explained Toups.
She was one of several students on hand as U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis toured the Allied Technologies Center Monday. MCC is serving as the lead for a consortium of community colleges across the state that have secured a more than $14 million grant from the labor department. This grant will help provide about 3,000 of New York's eligible workers and unemployed veterans with the training they need to find high-wage jobs in the manufacturing industry.
"For some people, they may say, well that may be just a drop in the bucket," said Solis. "But believe me I know when campuses are facing some fiscal constraints right now, in other words it's a shot in the arm, it's an ability to create more capacity for good programs."
These federal grants are designed to help strengthen the American workforce, by connecting students with employers.
"I know how important that is to have business partners and manufacturers and folks that can understand and be a part of the family at the community college system," said Solis.
"We really need some kind of help and assistance in getting people into the workforce, getting people trained, getting people excited about manufacturing" said Toups.
The project called Team, Training, Education in Advanced Manufacturing, is hoping that the funding will help strengthen the workforce pipeline by preparing skilled workers for the 21st century.
In today's job market, Toups said she feels fortunate that her skills have landed her more than one job offer.
"I thought I was gonna get one job offer, and just go with that one. But now I have the choice. Now I have the decision to make the best decision for me."