Governor Announces New CUNY/1199 Bronx Workforce Development Center

Governor George E. Pataki today launched the groundbreaking for the new CUNY/1199 Bronx Workforce Development Center. It will be operated through a unique partnership of three City University of New York colleges, Local ll99/SEIU, led by President Dennis Rivera, and the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York, led by President Bruce McIver.

The Center will be located on the 2nd floor of the former Alexander’s department store on Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse. The Governor has provided $3 million in State support for the new 50,000 square foot healthcare workforce training and childcare facility, which has been in the planning stages for the past year. March 1 is the target date for completing renovations and opening the Center.

“The Board of Trustees very much appreciates Governor Pataki’s exemplary leadership in bringing the new Bronx Workforce Development Center closer to fruition. This innovative educational collaboration, involving CUNY educators and prominent leaders of labor and the health care industry, is a potential model for retraining within a complex field undergoing extraordinary change. We are most pleased to be active participants in this important initiative,” said CUNY Vice Chairman Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.

“We are deeply grateful to Governor George Pataki for his strong encouragement and visionary support for the new Bronx Workforce Development Center. This unique partnership of three CUNY colleges in the Bronx — Herbert H. Lehman College, Bronx Community College, and Eugenio Maria De Hostos Community College –, Local 1199/SEIU, led by President Dennis Rivera, and the League of Voluntary Hospitals, led by President Bruce McIver, will be of direct benefit to New Yorkers within the borough, the City, and the State. I am especially pleased that through our integrated University, we can help to address staffing shortages in health care while providing new opportunities for workers to gain the skills necessary for promotion and employment,” said CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.

A consortium of Lehman College, Hostos Community College and Bronx Community College will offer an array of counseling, pre-college basic skills courses, continuing education courses and credited certificates in professional areas that will prepare working adults for college-level work and could lead to associate’s or baccalaureate degree programs.

Since the health care industry represents a significant sector of the labor market in the Bronx, and there is a severe nursing shortage, the CUNY colleges will offer a continuum of nursing degree programs from nursing assistant to graduate degrees, as well as courses in other health related fields. The Center will also offer course work designed to prepare students for the most challenging 21st Century jobs outside of the health and human services. In addition, the Center will provide special access to higher education and health careers for individuals who are bilingual in English and Spanish.

Classes will be offered on a regular schedule, as well as on-line. The Center will be equipped with Internet-connected computer labs and will be open day and evening and for as many as seven days a week.

The Hospital League/1199 Funds will provide basic education classes for its members, citizenship classes and an employment center. The 1199 Child Care Fund will establish a child care center at the site to provide evening and weekend childcare for members who are enrolled in classes. Afterschool programs for school age children are also being planned.