LaGuardia Community College Joins Forces with Six Community Colleges and Two National Organizations to Aid Workforce in Distressed Northeast with $23.5 Million

Long Island City, New York—October 30, 2013—The Northeast Resiliency Consortium (NRC), composed of LaGuardia Community College and six community colleges in the United States’ Northeastern region (New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts) and two national organizations (Achieving the Dream and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching), has been awarded $23.5 million from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career and Training (TAACCCT) program to develop training programs committed to creating a highly skilled and resilient workforce.

In the wake of natural and man-made disasters in the Northeast over the past year, the NRC will become the region’s leader in addressing the employment needs of three industry sectors that are instrumental in helping local communities respond, recover, and adapt in times of crises.  The industry sectors include health care, information technology, and environmental technologies.

Through a sustained and coordinated effort, LaGuardia will work with Achieving the Dream, the Carnegie Foundation, and the community college partners and employers to build regional capacity for helping trade-impacted, unemployed persons, veterans and other workers in obtaining the skills, competencies and credentials needed to transition seamlessly into demand occupations and to advance along a career pathway.  The resiliency theme will unite the partner colleges in building stronger, safer and more prosperous communities throughout the Northeast while mitigating the short and long-term effects of recent disasters and future threats.

LaGuardia will work collaboratively with its consortium lead Passaic County Community College (NJ) and its co-grantees Atlantic Cape Community College (NJ), Bunker Hill Community College (MA), Capital Community College (CT), Housatonic Community College (CT), and Kingsborough Community College (NY).

“This innovative consortium of community colleges on the cutting edge of economic development and job training is focused on one thing:  providing education and training that puts people to work,” said Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College. “LaGuardia’s contribution to this consortium is essential, as we bring extensive experience in job training; deep understanding of how to infuse language, math and literacy into skills instruction; and the ability to secure jobs for trainees and help small businesses grow.”

Over a three year period LaGuardia, which was awarded $3.1 million, will serve over 600 unemployed or underemployed adults in two distinct disaster recovery related training programs: EMT/Paramedic and Green Jobs, a six-week course comprising waste management, housekeeping, and building operations and maintenance. In addition to training and skills instruction, the programs will include a core resiliency curriculum, which will cover key concepts such as disaster preparedness, response and mitigation as relating to the individual as well as community; extensive use of technology through online instruction and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs); contextualized math and literacy training; and internships. The programs lead to employment and/or college, specifically, associates degrees in environmental science, business and health science.

“With the right training and skills, more of our workers can secure good-paying, family-supporting jobs right here in New York,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This important federal investment will go towards developing collaborative and innovative training programs at LaGuardia Community College to help workers gain the skills they need to succeed. When we strengthen our workforce, we can help more local businesses grow, create jobs, and set the foundation for a strong and growing economy.”

“I am thrilled that LaGuardia Community College will be receiving $3.1 million in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career and Training (TAACCCT) program,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12). “This will allow LaGuardia to continue and strengthen its successful work in preparing young people for the workforce. In this case, LaGuardia will be focusing its efforts on training students to fill the employment needs of industries that focus on disaster response. Given that this region has experienced a number of disasters, and there’s a likelihood that weather events like Superstorm Sandy will continue to have an impact on our communities, disaster response should be a source of jobs far into the future, and we need to have a workforce ready and able to step up and meet the needs.”

“As our communities continue to rebound from the devastation of recent natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy, the Northeast Resiliency Consortium will play a pivotal role in preparing our city for future threats by developing a stronger workforce to meet those challenges,” said Representative Joseph Crowley (Queens, the Bronx). “Through innovative job training programs, partner institutions like LaGuardia Community College will lead the way in putting New Yorkers back to work in high-demand job sectors while spurring the growth of our local economy. This program is a great example of how the Recovery Act is still working to revive our economy, put people back to work, and make our city safer at the same time. I am thrilled the consortium has been awarded this grant, and I look forward to the impact it will have on our communities in the years to come.”

Northeast Resiliency Consortium (NRC) is a consortium of seven disaster-affected community colleges in the Northeast region of the U.S. in partnership with Achieving the Dream and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The NRC received a three-year $23.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career and Training (TAACCCT) program to develop programs fundamentally committed to creating a highly skilled and resilient workforce. The NRC, led by Passaic County Community College, will create career pathways in health care, information technology, and environmental technologies, which are among the Northeast’s largest growth industries.

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit to learn more.