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Schumer supports SUNY pursuit of funding for mechatronics training

By Eric Reinhardt

Date:

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) announces his support of an application by several SUNY campuses for $15 million in funding from a federal program for training in the field of mechatronics, which SUNY contends could produce about 2,800 regional jobs by 2020. Dr. Casey Crabill (left of Schumer) is the president of Onondaga Community College, which would receive more than $517,000 if the federal government approves the SUNY application.

DeWITT, N.Y. — U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D–N.Y.) today announced his push to secure federal funding that would help establish a program at Onondaga Community College (OCC) to re-train local veterans and the unemployed in the field of mechatronics.

Mechatronics is a multidisciplinary field that incorporates engineering, mechanics, electronics, and other technical work, according to Schumer’s office.

The State University of New York (SUNY) contends the field of mechatronics is “rapidly growing,” and Central New York could create more than 2,800 jobs in the industry by 2020.

But the region doesn’t have enough people trained in this field to make these potential jobs “a reality,” according to Schumer’s office.

The Democrat announced his support of the federal program during a visit late Monday morning to Byrne Dairy in DeWitt, a business he said could hire people with training in mechatronics.

“We have two things going on. On the one hand, here in Central New York, we literally have hundreds of jobs that don’t [get] filled because the people don’t have the skills for them. But second, we have lots of unemployed people, particularly our veterans, who are looking for work,” Schumer said in addressing reporters outside the Byrne Dairy plant.

OCC is one of the 30 SUNY schools across New York that are collectively submitting an application for $15 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program, Schumer explained.

The schools would use the TAACCCT program funding to establish a systemwide program that would train veterans and the unemployed in the mechatronics field.

OCC and other SUNY schools would then have the funding to train more than 1,200 eligible upstate New York workers in two-year programs to prepare them for careers in mechatronics and advanced manufacturing, Schumer said.

Potential fields for these workers include maintenance and repair workers, industrial-machinery mechanics, technical-sales representatives, electrical and electronics-industry technicians; and inspectors, testers, sorters, and weighers.

These jobs can pay up to $34 an hour in some cases, according to Schumer’s office.

Specifically, OCC would receive more than $517,000 in funding to start up the program on its campus, according to Schumer’s office.

It’s not the first time OCC has pursued funding from the TAACCCT.

The school also used a $1.2 million grant from the same program to develop a one-year, advanced manufacturing – machining program, which the New York State Department of Education approved in June, according to a June 25 news release from OCC.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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