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New Job Training to Take Place at OCC Thanks to JP Morgan Chase

John Smith/WAER News

  The growing Agri-business and food processing industries in Central New York are calling for specially trained workers and skill sets. Onondaga Community College is developing the curriculum to support employee demand by partnering with the state and employers.

Today the college was presented with a 220-thousand check from J-P Morgan Chase in support of their Workforce Development efforts.  Executive Director at J-P Morgan Chase, Mark Allen says 95 percent of employers have difficulty finding qualified employees.  

 “There are jobs available that aren’t being filled. If they are being filled they aren’t retaining those people. And again against statistics that doesn’t sound accurate but it is. So, hopefully, the retention of employees, better-skilled employees, stable employees and those work opportunities hit home.”         

OCC President Casey Crabill explains that the program’s structure not only helps people get jobs but also puts them in a better position to advance in their careers.

“You might come in and do this piece of training. Get a job with it. Work for a while. And then think you know I want to get ahead in my company or my company says we need you to build another skill so we’ll stack that training to the next piece so over time someone can build a complex skillset through multiple pieces of training.”       

Although this program is specific to the Agri-business, Allen hopes it will evolve to include a wide range of industries.

“We really want it to be more agri-business advanced manufacturing for those core manufacturing industries that are prevalent throughout this region. But if you have a skilled person who comes out of a school and they want to go into banking, finance, accounting, they should have the same toolkit of resources to do that.”                   

There are nearly 36-hundred Agri-businesses and food processing plants in Central New York generating products. O-C-C is developing programs that are competency-based and employer-driven. The college was also awarded a 2.5-(M) million dollar grant last year from the U-S Department of Labor.  

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.
I was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. Unable to bring myself to leave the area and drawn to Le Moyne's communication and athletic programs, I decided to attend Le Moyne College where I am now a junior communications major. While at Le Moyne I have dedicated most of my time to being a midfielder on the women's lacrosse team and the News and Features Editor of the school newspaper, The Dolphin. Since I was a little girl, I have been passionate about reading and writing, fascinated by the power words have to connect us and make the world feel a little bit smaller. From that passion stemmed an interest in radio and how people are able to communicate, not just through spoken word, but through music as well.