Rockland Community College Receives $933 Thousand to Address Manufacturing Workforce Shortages


Rockland Community College (RCC) has received a grant for $933 thousand awarded by the Empire State’s Office of Strategic Workforce Development (OSWD). Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced OSWD’s fourth round of grant awards, totaling more than $12 million for 15 projects that will train more than 2,000 workers across New York State for over 100 business partners. As part of its $933,412 Pay for Performance grant, RCC will develop and implement a new industrial machinery maintenance mechanics pathway that will provide skills-based training for students that results in an industry recognized credential designed to address talent shortages for Hudson Valley employers in the advanced manufacturing industry.

"At Rockland Community College, we believe in shaping the workforce of the future and fostering economic success and inclusion for all,” said Dr. Lester Rapalo, RCC President. “This grant is a testament to our commitment to providing our students with credentialed training and meeting the workforce needs of our local manufacturing partners.”

RCC’s Economic Mobility and Workforce Innovation Division designs courses and programs with flexible schedules, small class numbers, and reasonably priced tuition to meet the needs of working adults. A pre-enrollment assessment will identify barriers to student success and make connections to services such as mentorship, advising and transportation assistance. Courses will build off each other to create a pathway for career mobility that is transferable as college credit to encourage life-long-learning and upskilling.

“The State’s timely investment in RCC will enable us to work with employers to create industry-responsive pathways that lead to family-sustaining jobs. This project is part of Rockland Community College's goal to ‘skill-up’ Rockland and create pathways that lead to upward economic mobility,” stated Kevin Stump, RCC Vice President of Economic Mobility and Workforce Innovation, who was also co-chair of the 2018 Invest in Skills NY campaign that secured the first $175 million of workforce development investment from the state.

The available programs help students find employment in fields where the average beginning salary is at least $40,000. The programs provide opportunities to gain industry-specific certificates or transfer into degree-seeking programs. Class options, fees, duration, and locations vary by program. Some individuals may qualify for scholarships and grants.

It is anticipated that the new pathway will be in place by next spring. Enrollment into classes will be available through the College’s website at 

About Rockland Community College

Rockland Community College (RCC), located in Suffern New York, provides purpose driven educational opportunities in a supportive, affordable, and accessible environment, empowering individuals to positively transform themselves and their communities. RCC welcomes students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Many graduates go on to top universities to further their education on their own or through RCC’s institutional collaborations. RCC fosters an environment that attracts, recruits, supports, and retains faculty, staff, and students who value diversity. The College promotes a collegial and inclusive environment by recognizing, promoting, embracing, respecting, and celebrating the expansive range and dimensions of cultures, attitudes, ideas, and viewpoints contained within our campus community.

RCC is also proud to provide career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills through a variety of programs and educational opportunities including workforce training, certifications, and micro credentials. Many of the programs are developed with employers in the community in high demand industry areas to enable graduates to move into a new career upon graduation. More information can be found at

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