Morrisville State College has opportunities to advance Gov. Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State agenda

Morrisville State College has several opportunities to contribute to the success of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2018 agenda, as outlined through 22 proposals shared Wednesday as part of the State of the State Address.

President David E. Rogers attended the address Wednesday in Albany, where Gov. Cuomo spoke on “Realizing the Promise of Progressive Government” as his theme for the year.

“Governor Cuomo has provided the resources and support for the higher education sector to continue to prepare our students to become engaged and successful citizens and leaders for a dynamic New York economy,” Rogers said.

Included in Gov. Cuomo’s plan are proposals that establish a multi-pronged approach to strengthening and broadening resources to help New Yorkers prepare, find and succeed in 21st century jobs in New York State, aligning with the mission of Morrisville State College. Additionally, the agenda advances the Governor’s No Student Goes Hungry Program to include expansion of the Farm to School program, increasing the use of farm-fresh and locally grown foods at school, and requiring food pantries on all SUNY and CUNY campuses.

In the last year, nearly 10 percent of all produce purchased by the college’s dining services came from two student learning labs; Morrisville’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Aquaponics Greenhouse and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Certified Organic College Farm, both located less than a mile from campus. Dining services utilizes a variety of products from each area.

Rogers lauded the Governor’s continued positive and bold moves to ensure the path to successful careers in New York State with the proposed Workforce Development Initiatives. Morrisville State College is committed to investing in workforce development and job training, offering courses and certification classes which equip the workforce with the skills to move the economy forward.

“With the Excelsior Scholarship program, combined with strong applied learning in the diverse programs of study that support the industries of New York state, I am so positive about this initiative to help our citizens and students of New York to find employment and build careers that ensure our future and the success of our state and society,” Rogers said.

As a college delivering diverse learning experiences, combining applied learning components with traditional academic settings, Morrisville State College produces graduates ready to pursue employment in fields critical to the state’s sustainability and success.

Building on the success of the Excelsior Scholarship and other initiatives to equip New Yorkers with tools to succeed in the new economy, the Governor proposes a comprehensive workforce development program to ensure all New Yorkers have access to training to meet growing workforce needs and continue to move New York’s economy forward.

Morrisville is doing its part to help expand workforce training programs. The college’s Norwich Campus excels in community partnership, especially in the area of workforce developmentcareer training and college preparation.

The campus, which serves Chenango County and other counties in South Central New York, offers associate degree programs in select career and technical areas as well as liberal arts transfer programs. Through its Liberty Partnership and EDge programs, the Norwich Campus offers support to help prepare middle and high school students for college.

Relationships with Commerce Chenango and partnerships with local businesses such as the Norwich Family YMCA and Golden Artist Colors, Inc., and the community are also opening doors.

Like the Morrisville campus, Norwich students work with technology that promises to “take them places” when seeking employment or advancing in their career.

Morrisville’s commitment to renewable energy and sustainability also aligns with Gov. Cuomo’s 2018 Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda, which seeks to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and growing the clean energy economy.

The college’s Renewable Energy Training Center (RETC), an alliance of employers, training providers, economic development partners and K-12 schools, addresses long-term and short-term needs of New York State’s renewable energy sector. The RETC provides technical short courses for students seeking marketable skills in renewable energy fields, with course curricula based upon employer-identified skill gaps and needs.

Through Morrisville’s course offerings and training, students are prepared to enter the workforce in renewable energy resources and systems areas, including wind, solar, micro hydro, geothermal and bioenergy/biofuels.

Expanding the state’s agriculture industry as a driver of economic growth and unlocking the economic potential of commodities, such as industrial hemp, is also part of the governor’s plan to become a national leader in industrial hemp production.

The emerging industry has the power to transform the agricultural economy in the Southern Tier and throughout New York state by creating jobs for both the farmers growing hemp and the manufacturers processing it.

Morrisville State College is a leader in New York’s dynamic and evolving economy, pioneering the reintroduction of hemp to New York State.

The college has dedicated more than 80 acres of farmland for the experimentation of growing hemp as a commercial crop, following its historic 2016 production of New York State’s first industrial hemp crop in more than 80 years through a research partnership with JD Farms in Eaton.

This commitment allows Morrisville students and faculty to conduct applied research on an emerging commodity.

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