State Budget Includes Funding For New Career Training Center

George Winner

April 04, 2006

Elmira, N.Y.-- State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira) and local officialshave announced that the New York State Legislatureapproved funding in the 2006-07 state budget that will allow Chemung County to develop a long-awaited Academic and Career Advancement Center at the site of the former Lagonegro School building on Madison Avenue.

Winner, who secured the new state aid, saidthe budget approved by the Legislature last Friday includes $5 million for the center. Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli said that the state funding will cover the cost of renovating and developing the vacant, city-owned building so that classes can begin early next year.

The area leaders noted that the center will be an exciting addition to the region’s ability to retain and expand existing businesses and industries, as well as attract new employers in the future.

Winner said, "New York government has an overriding responsibility to invest in the strength of local communities. Chemung County’s new career development center is an investment in economic opportunity for area workers. The success of our region’s economic future will only be as bright and as strong as our ability to produce a highly trained and skilled work force that attracts the employers of the future. We’re investing in a public-private partnership that will make our region more competitive in the fight for jobs."

The Academic and Career Advancement Center, which has been in the planning stages under the direction of the Chemung County Task Force on Educational & Skills Development formed by Santulli in 2004, is envisioned as a comprehensive, quality education and employment training system connecting area residents with education and training providers in Chemung County.

"The Center is an innovative model which provides the one-stop convenience that job seekers and employers have been wanting for years. I believe the Center will provide a clarity to area residents looking for employment opportunities and allow for businesses to work with the education and training providers to fulfill both their short- and long-term staffing needs," said Santulli.

Corning Community College will serve as the lead administrator of the new Center, which will provide student support, career counseling, a technology lab, distance learning capabilities, on-site classrooms and other new and enhanced services to job seekers and employers. The Center will bring together an array of local agencies and service providers under one roof to create an improved work force development system. The new public-private partnership will include the Elmira CSS Workforce New York Career Center, state Labor Department, Schuyler-Chemung-Tioga Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Southern Tier Economic Development and Growth (STEG), Chemung County Department of Social Services, Elmira College, Elmira Business Institute and others.

The city of Elmira will donate the former Lagonegro school building to the county to assist the Center’s development.

Assemblyman Tom O’Mara (R-C, Horseheads) said, "Our new Career Training Center will be a major asset to local business and the community. Business and workforce development is a top priority of mine and I'm proud to be part of this effort."