CUNY Matters, Winter 2001 0
Winter 2001

CUNY & 1199 Union Sponsor College Fair



ore 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 Manhattan.

1199 College Fair
At 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 geriatrics.

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 math.

Union 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.

"Members can 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 goals."
CUNY and 1199 are already working on their next joint project-a major conference in March on the city's looming nursing shortage.