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Monroe County adds $400,000 to promote job training in underserved areas

James Brown

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello is announcing a new $400,000 grant for the county’s Multi-Craft Apprenticeship Preparation Program, or ‘MAPP’ which provides training and job-site experience focusing on helping underserved populations in the Rochester area.

The additional funding is coming through the county’s Industrial Development Agency (COMIDA).

Bello said the job training provided through the MAPP program is also helping to provide skilled workers to fill essential jobs.

“These are great paying jobs with exceptional benefits that don’t rack up debt, while you get the education that you need for the worksite,” said Bello on Thursday. “There are people we rely on for the infrastructure for our future, they make sure that we have the internet, the electricity, the roof over our heads, the roads and bridges that we drive on.“

The county program collaborates with local construction and trades unions to connect job seekers with employment opportunities.

Kereem Berry is executive director of the program, and he said this effort is vital for finding jobs for people who have traditionally not been well represented in areas like the building trades.

“It was a population not before included that we now include in job career opportunities in order to make their families successful, to be able to eat on a daily basis to pass down that generational wealth down,” said Berry.

He added that the goal of MAPP “is to prepare historically disadvantaged population, African Americans, to successfully meet and exceed industry standards in the construction and building trades.” Berry said that the absence of diversity and inclusion “are catalysts that lead to poverty.”

Chair of the COMIDA board of directors, Ann Burr, said that members of that board “fully support job readiness training to develop competitive candidates for the workforce which not only lifts individuals, but families and our communities.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.
Jeremy Moule joined CITY in 2007 as a staff writer and became its news editor in 2019. He also covers Monroe County.