July 18, 2023 By Bill Parry
LaGuardia Community College has been awarded a $350,000 grant that will enable it to install an Offshore Wind Training Tower and new state-of-the-art facilities to boost electrical, plumbing, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) as well as offshore wind training programs on its Long Island City campus.
The grant is from the New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development/Empire State Development to expand job training for unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers in renewable energy and construction.
“We are grateful to Governor Hochul and the Office of Strategic Workforce Development for awarding LaGuardia this grant that will allow us to build facilities on campus where we can provide hands-on training for jobs in renewable energy and construction to more New Yorkers,” LaGuardia President Kenneth Adams said. “Offering this training on campus enables us to train more New Yorkers, while providing numerous benefits for students. Importantly, we want them to feel that they are part of the LaGuardia college campus community.”
CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez noted LaGuardia’s commitment to providing opportunities for individuals to make better lives for themselves and their families through education.
“This added support for workforce development programming at LaGuardia Community College will help prepare students for jobs in fast-growing, in-demand fields, and we are grateful to Governor Hochul and the New York State Office of Strategic Workforce Development for their support,” he said.
In addition to the Offshore Wind Working at Heights Training Tower that will be installed on the grounds of the campus, an under-utilized space in the basement level of LaGuardia’s Shenker Hall (the M building) will be converted into new electrical, plumbing, and HVAC training labs.
Currently, these training programs are operated off-campus. With expanded, on-campus training facilities, waitlists will be reduced or eliminated; students will be exposed to more tools and equipment and have more opportunities to practice hands-on skills and new day, evening, and weekend classes will be introduced.
“The construction of on-campus labs will allow us to double the numbers of cohorts and students served by the Electrical 1 Training Program, which currently has a waitlist, as well as to launch a new Electrical 2 Training Program and make HVAC 1 Training Program available to the public on a regular semester schedule,” said Hannah Weinstock, principal investigator of the new grant and senior director of Workforce Development at LaGuardia. “The labs will facilitate our ability to offer custom projects for renewable energy, transportation and construction companies, governmental agencies, unions, or trade associations.”
Being on-campus will also give students convenient access to LaGuardia’s extensive student support services, including a food pantry, benefits counseling, tax prep, referrals to legal services, low-cost childcare, mental health counseling, veterans benefits counseling, career services, college transition services, and more.
“This funding will help fulfill the critical need to expand our workforce in the green energy economy, and that’s why I am proud to support serious programs like this,” state Senator Michael Gianaris said. “I’m glad LaGuardia Community College is putting state funding to work in this thoughtful fashion that will help more people have the careers they and our communities need.”
Anyone interested in pursuing training in electrical, plumbing, or HVAC, should contact Continuing Education at (718) 482-7244 or [email protected].