NY makes $5 million available for colleges, including GCC and NCCC, to help prepare students in cannabis industry

Posted 19 July 2022 at 12:25 pm

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that SUNY and CUNY community colleges will receive $5 million in funding to support the creation or enhancement of short-term credential programs or course offerings that provide pathways to employment in the cannabis industry.

The funding supports programs that will create or enhance non-degree and degree-eligible courses and programs, stackable credentials, and/or microcredentials that quickly address local employer skill needs within the cannabis sector, a projected multi-billion dollar industry with tens of thousands jobs. Selected campuses must also partner with local employers in the cannabis industry and receive their input on curriculum development.

“New York’s new cannabis industry is creating exciting opportunities, and we will ensure that New Yorkers who want careers in this growing sector have the quality training they need to be successful,” Hochul said. “Diversity and inclusion are what makes New York’s workforce a competitive, powerful asset, and we will continue to take concrete steps to help ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate in the cannabis industry.”

This cannabis credentialing program aligns with Hochul’s continued commitment to delivering new employment opportunities to New Yorkers, especially those from historically underserved communities, while also supplying local employers with a highly skilled, locally sourced talent pool. Colleges will serve social equity candidates as defined by the Office of Cannabis Management in their local communities.

Awards have been made on a competitive basis within the SUNY and CUNY systems, with multiple campuses partnering with one college which assumes the lead role.

The three selected SUNY campuses which will each receive $1 million are:

  • Schenectady County Community College: serve as lead campus with partners Adirondack Community College, Columbia-Greene Community College, and Fulton-Montgomery Community College. It is estimated to include over 300 participants.
  • Niagara County Community College: serve as lead campus with partners Erie Community College, Genesee Community College, and Jamestown Community College. It is estimated to include over 4,000 participants.
  • Orange County Community College: serve as lead campus with partners Dutchess Community College, Rockland Community College, Sullivan County Community College, Ulster County Community College, and Westchester Community College. It is estimated to include over 200 participants.

The selected CUNY campus which will receive $2 million is:

  • Borough of Manhattan Community College: serve as lead campus with partner Lehman College. It is estimated to include over 360 participants.

Additionally, the New York State Department of Labor and the Office of Cannabis Management will support efforts to expand learning opportunities by helping to connect businesses and job seekers to these essential training programs. Upon completion, the Department will help candidates complete resumes, prepare for job interviews and provide regional job leads.

Each awarded campus or consortium of campuses will be supported by start-up funds for a three-year period.

Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright said, “I am thankful to Governor Hochul and our partners at SUNY and CUNY community colleges for developing programs that will help develop a diverse, equitable and accessible New York cannabis industry. As our cannabis industry grows, so does our need for skilled workers, and this is a wonderful way to create opportunities for New Yorkers.”