BOCES, Area Partners Join To Offer New Regional Workforce Training

Capital Region BOCES has teamed with University at Albany, Albany Can Code, the Capital District YMCA and New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation to expand workforce training and support the region’s economy recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Grant funding will help fuel these projects.

Preparing the next generation of teaching assistants

Capital Region BOCES will receive $197,606 in workforce development funds for its partnership with UAlbany to prepare the next generation of teaching assistants (TAs) for area schools.

The funding will pay for the creation of a program to train adults for the highly in-demand career, as well as pay for their tuition, exam fees, even providing bus passes for adults who are “under-employed” or unemployed.

“We’re excited to be able to expand and diversify the Capital Region’s educational workforce, which is needed more than ever, by providing new career pathways and job readiness skills through the Academy for the Advancement of Teaching Assistants,” said Dean of the School of Education at the University at Albany Dr. Jason Lane. “Thanks to this investment from the New York State Workforce Development Initiative, we look forward to working with our partners at Capital Region BOCES to upskill and reskill members of our community for jobs directly supporting students throughout the region.”  

Training and support for new, life-changing careers

Adults looking for careers in technology, healthcare and childcare will benefit from other new programs that will launch in the coming year thanks to additional State Workforce Development Initiative grants, which were announced this month by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Those grants are being awarded directly to Capital Region BOCES partners who will work with BOCES to create and launch the programs.

“This is another example of how partnerships are critical to support workforce development throughout our region,” said Capital Region BOCES Senior Executive Officer Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D.

A new Direct Support Professional (DSP) training program at BOCES, coordinated with the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation (NY Alliance), will solve a massive, double-digit shortage of workers in the industry with career paths for adults.

The $155,800 grant announced recently will help low-income individuals who are unemployed or “under-employed” receive training through BOCES to become direct support professionals (DSPs). DSPs help people with disabilities navigate everyday life tasks, such as work, volunteer, live in their own home and go to doctor’s appointments.

“This initiative will produce qualified individuals who are skilled and ready to meet the workforce needs of the disability sector as direct support professionals (DSPs),” said President and CEO of the NY Alliance Michael Seereiter. “We are excited about the program and the new career paths it will create for students at BOCES – and the precedent it will set to help take this effort statewide.” 

DSP training will become part of BOCES’ existing Certified Nurse Assistant, Home Health Aide, and Personal Care Aide (CNA/HHA/PCA) program, thus allowing program graduates to pursue four career paths. 

Also receiving state Workforce Development funding is a collaboration between AlbanyCanCode and BOCES to provide computer coding education and training programs that prepare people for careers in the technology industry. The $125,400 in funding will fund 76 student scholarships for adults taking coding classes in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Ulster counties

“We are thrilled to receive funding through the New York State Workforce Development Initiative, and excited to build on our important partnership with Capital Region BOCES,” said Founder and CEO of AlbanyCanCode Annmarie Lanesey. “These scholarships provide opportunities for additional individuals, particularly those from underserved and disadvantaged communities, to participate in the programs we offer with BOCES and other partners to enable life-changing careers in the technology sector.” 

Another initiative funded by the state was a partnership between the Capital District YMCA and BOCES to improve childcare options in the region. The $132,662 grant will support creating a new childcare program at the Capital South Campus Center and an adult training initiative at the same site to prepare workers for careers in childcare.

“The Y is so much more than a gym and swim, and this wonderful partnership between BOCES and the Capital District YMCA illustrates that. As the number one provider of childcare in the Capital District, the Y understands what it takes to produce a highly trained, caring, and committed childcare workforce. We look forward to doing just that, with the help of our partners at BOCES,” said Capital District YMCA President and CEO David Brown.

The four separate grants announced this week underscore Capital Region BOCES’ role as an integral part of the regional economy, providing training programs and other initiatives for high school students and adults to build the workforce of tomorrow.

“If we didn’t have these partnerships, their support, we couldn’t do the work that we do,” Dragone said.