than 900 union members attended a major College Fair on November
30th co-sponsored by CUNY and the League/1199 Service Employees
International Union's Employment, Training and Job Security Program.
All 17 CUNY colleges and the CUNY BA program participated in the
first-time event, which was held at the 1199 Conference Center in
the CUNY/1199 College Fair, from left: Chancellor Goldstein, Ramon Cuello, 1199
President Rivera, 1199 Training Fund Executive Director Deborah King, Angela Johnson,
Danahan Johnson, and Jose Hernandez.|
The members were obviously enthusiastic about the event. José Hernandez,
30 years old and now a direct care counselor at the Community Resource Center,
found the Fair "a wonderful experience. It gave me a broad view of all the
colleges." The Fair helped Hernandez to make plans to attend Hunter College
to become a registered nurse.Danahan
Johnson, a 33-year-old nursing assistant at Hebrew Hospital Home in Westchester,
was astonished to "get so much information in so little time." She hopes
to study nursing at Bronx Community College or Lehman College and specialize in
Also at the Fair was Ramón Cuello. He attended college
in the Dominican Republic before coming to the U.S., and, like some other 1199
attendees, he has already taken CUNY classes. The 54-year-old member plans to
enroll in a B.A. program in mathematics. His goal is to teach high school or college
President Dennis Rivera and Chancellor Matthew Goldstein spoke at the Fair, both
emphasizing the significance of the CUNY/1199 partnership. "CUNY has become
a true partner with us in worker education and re- training," Rivera said.
He remarked on the opportunities that were available at CUNY, pointing as an example
to the growing shortage of nurses in New York City.
attend CUNY for two years, receive a nursing degree, and earn $50,000 a year-and
more if they are bilingual. And the best news is that, through our joint voucher
program, our union members receive a college education with no out-of-pocket expenses
to them. This really is a win-win arrangement."
The Chancellor remarked
that "the growing partnership between CUNY and 1199 serves as a national
model and is one of the largest and most comprehensive of such collaborations."
He summarized the wide array of more than 100 CUNY degree programs in health-related
fields, including nursing, physical therapy, health administration, and health
information technology-as well as hundreds of other degree programs and opportunities
for continuing education and professional development. Goldstein concluded, "I
am committed to working with you to help you reach your educational and career
CUNY and 1199 are already working on their next joint project-a
major conference in March on the city's looming nursing shortage.