LaGuardia, Queensborough colleges receive grant to help those who became unemployed during COVID-19 pandemic

A federal grant will allow LaGuardia and Queensborough community colleges to provide skills services for those left unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic. (QNS file photo)

A consortium of community colleges, including Queensborough and LaGuardia, have been awarded a nearly $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, to provide skill services and programs for people who became unemployed during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together, the colleges will work with city and state agencies to refine and enhance local workforce development programs by accelerating education and training programs in partnership with Amazon, Google, and nine other companies and non-profit organization.

“Together, we are going to draw on the collective strength on CUNY’s community colleges, collaborate with employers, and contribute to a robust public workforce development system to meet the demand for skilled labor in the borough and throughout the city,” Queensborough Community College President Dr. Christine Mangino said.

An interactive, easy-to-use platform developed by the statewide Workforce Development Institute, the Future Skills Exchange will connect unemployed New Yorkers seeking courses, apprenticeships, credentials and assessments directly to the education and training providers. Each community college will work with industry, employers, and government on multiple projects to increase services to their communities with a strong focus on courses and programs that ensure students’ success, especially among adult learners seeking family-sustaining employment.

LaGuardia Community College, for instance, will provide accelerated education in areas including healthcare, cybersecurity, data analytics and data science.

“Given the financial crisis and record unemployment caused by COVID-19 within Queens and beyond, this work is vital to support our community’s recovery from the pandemic,” LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams said. “This funding from the U.S. Department of Labor will increase capacity to help dislocated and unemployed workers, as well as new entrants to the workforce, develop the skills they need to secure the jobs they want, through custom-designed pathways and technology-enabled learning.”

CUNY’s community colleges provide high-quality associate degree programs that prepare students for senior colleges or entry into professional careers. Each college reduces economic inequality by serving all students, especially the most disadvantaged, driving economic and social advancement.

“CUNY’s community colleges are uniquely positioned to help our city and region’s economic recovery from the pandemic,” CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodriguez said. “This grant will bolster the University’s efforts to revitalize and rebuild our communities. We are grateful to the U.S. Department of Labor for this groundbreaking support for CUNY and our collaborating partners in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.”

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