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Governor Hochul Announces Grand Opening of $11.4 Million Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center

May 23, 2022

Center Located on Monroe Community College’s Downtown Campus, Focuses on Technology Training for High-Demand Jobs in Advanced Manufacturing and IT

Image of officials and community leaders cutting a ribbon at FWD Center's grand opening.

Leaders from the state and county and in industry and the community mark the grand opening of the FWD Center with a ribbon-cutting.

Governor Kathy Hochul today attended and announced the grand opening of the Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center on Monroe Community College’s Downtown Campus. The $11.4 million 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center focuses on short-term and accelerated, technology-oriented training programs that place individuals in high-demand jobs within advanced manufacturing, information technology, skilled trades, apprenticeship-related instruction, and professional services.

“The pandemic had caused tremendous damage to our workforce, which is why we are doubling down on our efforts to connect New Yorkers with good job opportunities,” Governor Hochul said. “This state-of-the-art education and workforce development center will deliver accelerated training programs to provide New Yorkers in the Finger Lakes with the skills they need to compete in today’s dynamic and ever-changing job market. As we rebuild our economy, projects like this will ensure that New York remains the most business- and worker-friendly state in the nation.”

Image of MCC President Burt-NannaMonroe Community College President Dr. DeAnna R. Burt-Nanna (shown at left) said, “As our region looks ahead to rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important no one is left behind. The FWD Center represents a pivotal step forward for anyone — from high school students to working parents, military veterans, and those who are underemployed and unemployed — seeking high-quality, fast-track training without going into debt and a high-demand career that pays family-sustaining wages. MCC’s strong alliances with our peer colleges, employers and industry groups, community leaders, and local and state governments reflect our collective commitment to building stronger, more inclusive communities and providing upward opportunities for residents across all ZIP codes in our region. MCC is grateful for New York State’s investment in our students, community and region.”

The FWD Center is designed to support a variety of programs and allow for quick modification of the space to meet the specific needs of regional employers. New programs offered at the FWD Center will focus on Industry 4.0-related skills in automation, robotics, mechatronics as well as information technology. A secondary focus will be skilled trades and youth apprenticeship-related instruction. To strengthen the educational pipeline, an early college program model will focus on exposing high school students to advanced smart technologies. New programs and additional partnerships are in development and will be announced later this year. Fast facts about FWD Center

For more information, visit the FWD Center’s website  (

Monroe Community College Vice President of Economic Development, Workforce and Career Technical Education Dr. Robin Cole Jr said, “Monroe Community College is excited to see the vision of the FWD Center come to fruition. The investment in developing the technicians of tomorrow within the Finger Lakes region is displayed by the center and the entities that have collaborated on this initiative. As we enter the Industry 4.0 revolution, companies are focusing on skill sets that may not have specific job descriptions, but do require technicians who are forward-thinking and possess 21st-century skills. This center and the training that will take place here will transform fingers into a hand that will extend out to the community and pull people into the game of economic sustainability and upward mobility.”

A recording of the grand opening ceremony is available from MCC on YouTube. The full news release is available on the governor’s website.

Media Contact
Hency Yuen-Eng