Jan 29 2016 Lifting families out of poverty and into advanced manufacturing careers
By Dr. Anne M. Kress, President, Monroe Community College
After high school, Patricio Siaca went straight to work and over the years held various jobs, ranging from a factory equipment operator to retail management.
Geneo Brown dropped out of high school to help raise his child. But he never gave up on his education and eventually earned his GED.
Both men struggled to find stable, good-paying careers and wanted nothing more than to build a better life for themselves and their families.
“I want to bust my behind so that my children can go to college,” Patricio said.
When an opportunity came along for education and hands-on training in a high-demand field at no cost and to earn a certificate in half the time, they enrolled in Monroe Community College’s accelerated precision tooling certificate program and became workforce-ready in six months.
With job-placement assistance from Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association, both men are now employed and thriving as CNC operators, their future bright and full of possibilities. It’s a transformational moment in their lives that has made the promise of economic mobility a reality for their families.
In Rochester, N.Y., unemployment rates in some city neighborhoods exceed 30% and childhood poverty rates top national lists. As thousands of residents languish in poverty, across our region thousands of middle-skill jobs go unfilled because of a shortage of qualified workers.
In hopes of eradicating poverty, local leaders — from industry, education, labor, community-based organizations, and local government — are working collectively on building bridges to opportunity that put people on the path to a family-sustaining wage and stable, rewarding careers.
This article originally appeared on IndustryWeek.com and is republished here with permission.