Monroe Community College’s Workforce Development Expertise Highlighted in Aspen Institute Report

Monroe Community College is one of only six community colleges in the country cited in The Aspen Institute’s new report, The Workforce Playbook, a Community College Guide to Delivering Excellent Career and Technical Education . MCC and five other colleges are cited as national models for best practices in workforce development.

The Workforce Playbook is a practical guide with the goal of improving community colleges’ effectiveness in delivering talent for communities and enabling social mobility for students. Aspen’s Workforce Playbook uses concrete examples from the six identified high-performing community colleges to offer specific guidance about what colleges can do to build more effective workforce programs.

Monroe Community College is noted in the playbook for its innovative use of data to meet the current and emerging needs of the local economy. The College uses data and labor market analysis to support employers in the development of their workforces.

“MCC’s labor market-informed approach to workforce development has helped us to better understand where to make program investments that will result in a larger pool of skilled workers that are most needed by local industry,” said Dr. Todd Oldham, vice president, economic development and workforce and career technical education.

LadderzUP, a Monroe County workforce development program powered by Monroe Community College, is also cited in the Aspen report as a unique practice. LadderzUP connects area residents to skills training aligned to the needs of local employers. Since its inception in 2017, over 750 individuals have been trained and placed into new jobs or elevated in their current employment. The program has trained individuals for work in advanced manufacturing, health care, skilled trades, construction and information technology.

“LadderzUP has been a life-changing program for over 750 Monroe County residents,” said Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “This innovative partnership between Monroe County and MCC has helped unlock enhanced career opportunities for individuals interested in growing fields like health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and the skilled trades. We’re proud of this partnership and pleased that it is being recognized as a national model.”

The Workforce Playbook also underscores the importance of K-12/higher education partnerships in building the worker pipeline. Monroe Community College is recognized for its partnership with the Rochester City School District and P-TECH to make it possible for students to graduate with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree in information technology.

“For the Aspen Institute to consider MCC an exemplar community college in the field of workforce development is a testament to MCC’s long history of innovation, focus on local needs and the leadership of Dr. Todd Oldham,” said MCC President Anne M. Kress. “We look forward to building on existing partnerships and establishing new ones that create growth opportunities for area employers and citizens.”

To read the full report, visit

Dr. Todd Oldham Interviewed About “New Collar” Jobs

WHEC-TV news reporter Kaci Jones interviewed Dr. Todd Oldham, vice president of economic and workforce development, on “new collar” jobs, also called “middle skills” jobs by some in industry. These are high-demand, good-paying positions that require some specialized education (typically in a technical field), but not a four-year college degree.

Dr. Oldham talked about the education and training MCC provides to prepare students for these positions and meet employers’ workforce demands. He cited MCC’s partnership in P-TECH Rochester (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) as one of the ways MCC helps students move through high school and college purposely toward achieving careers in information and network technology.

Watch the interview.

National Higher Ed Publication Notes MCC’s Work in Educating Adult Students

Dr. Todd Oldham, vice president of economic and workforce development, was invited to participate in a panel discussion, “The Best (and Worst) Colleges for Adults,” held Sept. 14 in Washington, D.C.

The discussion focused on how some colleges, including MCC, are innovative leaders in adult education and are transforming higher education to be responsive to learners of all ages.

Community College Daily shared highlights of the discussion in an article,  titled “Colleges need to better serve adult students“, noting the work of Dr. Oldham and his team in producing accelerated programs and using labor market intelligence to better serve employers’ needs and develop the local workforce.

MCC was recently named one of 12 most innovative U.S. colleges for adult learners by the Washington Monthly magazine.

MCC Named Innovative College for Adult Learners

Magazine rates U.S. colleges’ openness, responsiveness to students ages 25 and older

BRIGHTON, N.Y. – Aug. 29, 2017 – Monroe Community College is one of 12 most innovative U.S. colleges for adult learners, according to Washington Monthly magazine’s latest college rankings.

The list rates two-year and four-year higher education institutions based on how they best serve learners ages 25 and older.

MCC is recognized for being “at the cutting edge of making college more responsive to changes in the labor market” by using real-time data to provide a deeper understanding of local employers’ workforce demands and to help MCC students make informed career choices. The College’s Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services Division (EDIWS) recently launched a web platform,, that provides actionable data to guide educators, workforce developers, and economic developers by allowing them to apply occupational-based analyses within specific regions and workforce clusters. These analyses have been accepted across the Finger Lakes region, and into the Central and Western New York regions.

“Innovation is at the heart of what we do. We align and inform programs through local labor market analysis to adapt our solutions to current workforce needs,” said Dr. Todd Oldham, vice president of MCC’s EDIWS Division.

Also highlighted is MCC’s accelerated precision tooling certificate program—developed in response to the region’s high demand for skilled machinists—as a model for addressing unmet needs of employers in other fields. Ninety-percent of graduates from the first cohort of the accelerated precision tooling certificate program secured employment upon graduation from the program, and the cohorts that followed have had similar results. MCC plans to roll out similar programs to meet employer demand. One such program is the cohort-based medical office assistant certificate program launching this fall.

The magazine’s list is compiled using data from federal government sources and the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges.

Approximately 40 percent of all U.S. college students are adults, according to Washington Monthly. At MCC, 31 percent of students are adults (25 years of age and older).

Media Contact:
Hency Yuen-Eng
Marketing and Community Relations

MCC Awarded State Grant to Keep At-risk Students in School

$355,000 supports Liberty Partnerships Program at Downtown Campus

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Aug. 1, 2017 – Monroe Community College is among three Greater Rochester colleges awarded Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) grants to help at-risk students in grades 5-12 successfully graduate, the New York State Education Department recently announced. Statewide, 44 colleges and universities will receive LPP grants totaling more than $17 million.

LPP is a state-funded dropout prevention program that links local school districts with colleges and community-based organizations. The five-year, $355,000 grant awarded to MCC will support about 285 middle and high school LPP students each year. A complete list of LPP grant recipients is available online.

Housed on MCC’s Downtown Campus, the LPP at MCC has served at-risk, low-income students for 28 years through comprehensive programs — including skills assessment, tutoring, mentoring, and college/career exploration, student leadership opportunities, and community service projects — to prepare students to successfully transition into postsecondary education or the workforce. On average, 87 percent of MCC LPP participants graduate from high school in four years; 86 percent on average enroll in college.

Media Contact:
Hency Yuen-Eng
Marketing and Community Relations

MCC’s Downtown Campus to Add Cohort-Based Certificate Program

Students will attend all classes together, increasing likelihood of graduating

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – July 5, 2017 – With health care being among the Rochester area’s top industries, Monroe Community College is redoubling its efforts to prepare individuals for the high-demand career of medical office assistant — a field that has grown about 5 percent over the past two years.

MCC has developed a cohort-based medical office assistant certificate program, allowing students to attend every class together for the duration of the program at the Downtown Campus and increasing the likelihood that a student will persist and graduate. The model is focused on building a tight-knit learning community of peers who use one another as resources and collaborate on projects and in discussions.

Participants learn specialized health care record-keeping procedures and use the same high-tech computer systems found in today’s medical offices. In addition to developing strong technical skills, students will learn to effectively communicate with patients and health care professionals and gain introductory knowledge of biology, medical terminology, drugs and emergency care.

Graduates can begin their careers in hospitals, private practices and dental clinics as administrative assistants, medical records and health information technicians, and medical record coders.

Employment opportunities for medical office assistants are projected to increase by 11 percent over the next decade, according to MCC’s Career Coach. Within the past year alone, nearly 30 local businesses have posted job openings for medical office assistants.

Offered through MCC’s Information and Computer Technologies Department, classes will begin Sept. 5 atMCC’s Downtown Campus, 321 State St. in Rochester. Deadline to register for fall 2017 is Aug. 30. Financial aid for qualified individuals and support services—including job placement assistance—are available through MCC and community partners.

For individuals wanting flexible course schedules, a traditional medical office assistant certificate program is offered at the Brighton Campus.

For more information about the certificate program and enrollment, call (585) 292-2200.

Information sessions on the program will be held at 1 p.m. July 11 and Aug. 1 at MCC’s Applied Technologies Center, 2485 W. Henrietta Road in Brighton.

Media Contact:
Hency Yuen-Eng
Marketing and Community Relations

New MCC Program Prepares Students for High-demand Careers in Fast-growing Mechatronics Field

Area employers and faculty members at five SUNY campuses developed curriculum.

BRIGHTON, N.Y. – July 3, 2017 – As advanced manufacturers increasingly rely on state-of-the-art equipment—and on technicians qualified to operate these complex and expensive machines—to compete in the global economy, these employers face a critical demand for workers skilled in ensuring the technologies function properly.

The field of mechatronics—a specialty within advanced manufacturing that incorporates engineering, mechanics, electronics and other technical work—is rapidly growing in the Finger Lakes region. Nearly 170 job openings are anticipated annually for mechatronics-related positions, according to MCC’s 2015 Measuring Middle-Skills Occupational Gaps within the Finger Lakes Regional Economy report.

In collaboration with four SUNY community colleges and industry partners throughout the state, Monroe Community College has developed a mechatronics certificate program to prepare more qualified candidates for regional employers.

The program prepares students for careers as technicians skilled in assembling, maintaining, troubleshooting, repairing and upgrading automated manufacturing production systems. The systems usually consist of hydraulic and pneumatic components, mechanical systems, electronic sensors and motors, and computers that monitor and control the production process. Such machines can be found in automotive, medical, defense, biotechnology and electronics manufacturing environments.

The curriculum covers the electrical operation of industrial production systems, pneumatics, hydraulics, automated systems maintenance, tools used to identify and repair malfunctions, and safe work practices. Students will learn the most current processes and techniques, work on high-tech industry standard equipment purchased through other resources and valued at nearly $500,000, and participate on team projects that simulate industry scenarios.

Graduates can immediately begin their careers as equipment maintenance technicians and industrial equipment maintenance technicians, electro-mechanical technicians and robotics technicians.

Program graduates can also build upon their certificate and apply their earned course credits toward an associate degree in applied integrated technology.

The certificate program was developed with input from area employers and faculty members at MCC and four other SUNY campuses: Fulton-Montgomery, Schenectady, Mohawk Valley and Hudson Valley community colleges. As a result of the multi-campus collaboration, students can pursue a mechatronics certificate at any of these schools. Each certificate is tailored to their region’s specific workforce needs.

The SUNY consortium’s efforts were supported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s $14.6 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant. The grant enabled the SUNY consortium to work with industry partners to design mechatronics programs and further the capacity of SUNY colleges to offer education and training in this field.

MCC’s mechatronics certificate program was recently approved by the New York State Department of Education and the State University of New York. Classes are being offered at MCC’s Brighton Campus and at Eastman Business Park. Deadline to register for fall 2017 is Aug. 30.

For more information about the program and enrollment, call (585) 292-2200.

Media Contact:
Hency Yuen-Eng
Marketing and Community Relations

New Monroe County-MCC Initiative to Connect Residents to High-Demand Careers

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – June 20, 2017 – Imagine Monroe (formerly known as the County of Monroe Industrial Development Agency) and Monroe Community College (MCC) are teaming to alleviate a persistent challenge in the Finger Lakes region —the disconnect between the number of people seeking full-time employment and the unfilled positions in the area.

The new LadderzUp workforce development initiative leverages Imagine Monroe’s and MCC’s resources and expertise to provide ladders of educational and training opportunities aligned with current and future job openings in high-demand industries for Monroe County residents.

“A trained and skilled workforce is a tremendous asset to our economy,” said County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “When businesses are looking to locate or expand in Monroe County, they expect a trained workforce. LadderzUp works on the concept that education and training enable residents to move up the economic ladder and provides tailor-made job training programs that ultimately lead to job placement.”

The partnership will begin with first-year funding of $355,000 from Imagine Monroe to support a minimum of 45 individuals with accelerated education and training focused on advanced manufacturing, health care and information technology.

Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational options, which include credit and noncredit programs. Upon completion, students will be prepared to immediately enter the workforce or continue their education at MCC.

MCC’s Economic & Workforce Development Center will recruit participants, targeting Monroe County residents and businesses, with a focus on serving incumbent workers seeking new skill sets and job opportunities.

“Monroe County’s investment is critically important if we’re going to meet employers’ workforce needs and provide opportunities for local residents to achieve their goals and aspirations,” said MCC President Anne M. Kress. “Together, we can move our region forward, assuring all members of our community can access pathways to prosperity and enjoy brighter economic futures.

“Through the LadderzUp initiative, we are connecting individuals with in-demand career opportunities and helping combat the shortage of middle-skill workers, a systemic problem that has to be solved collectively,” said Todd Oldham, vice president of MCC’s Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services Division. “This program is an important plank in our strategy to narrow opportunity gaps for students and fulfill employers’ evolving workforce demands. We’re grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Monroe County to move our economy forward.”

Media Contact:
Cynthia Mapes
Marketing and Community Relations

The latest news!

MCC’s economic and workforce development division has launched its inaugural newsletter featuring the latest news and updates regarding divisional work. A newsletter will be distributed twice a year.

If you are interested in joining the distribution list, please Join Our Database.


The MCC Economic and Workforce Development Center is moving!

On May 17, 2017 the MCC Economic and Workforce Development Center will open in a new space on the 7th floor of MCC’s Downtown Campus located at 321 State Street in downtown Rochester. The Economic and Workforce Development Center includes the following:

  • Office of the Vice President for the Economic and Workforce Development Division
  • Corporate College
  • Grants Office
  • Secondary Education Partnerships
  • Marketing Operations for Economic and Workforce Development