American Graduate

American Graduate...


Finger Lakes Community College has received the largest gift in its history. The Sands Family Foundation will donate $3 million to FLCC to help it more than double its nursing program.

The donation will cover nearly half the cost of an expanded wing at the main campus in Canandaigua. It will be called the Sands Center for Allied Health.

Besides the associate degree program FLCC now has for registered nursing, the college will also launch a licensed practical nursing certificate program.


A company described as an “authentic Indian cheese maker” is expanding in the Village of Waterloo.

According to officials at Empire State Development, Deep Dairy Products, L.L.C, will modernize its production facility on Swift Street.

As a result of the upgrades, the company plans to create up to 39 new jobs over the next five years, and retain 36 other positions. Officials say the modernization will allow additional products to be manufactured that were previously made by third party suppliers.

St. John Fisher College

Two local colleges will use a federal grant to help alleviate a teacher shortage in high-needs rural school districts.

St. John Fisher College, in partnership with Finger Lakes Community College, are using a nearly $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation in this effort.

Associate Professor of Chemistry at Fisher, Kermin Martinez-Hernandez says the money will recruit college students with the help of some scholar ship money. 


A couple of area high-tech companies are adding jobs. A company that designs satellite communications devices called Lite Coms LLC, will be creating a total of 37 jobs over the next five years.

Lite Coms previously was located on State Street in Rochester, and it has now moved to land near the MCC Brighton campus. It is part of the START-UP NY program, which provides tax incentives for new and expanding businesses when they partner with colleges and universities.

Alex Crichton

DaQuan Quick is about to start his career in the culinary arts. But getting to this point wasn’t always easy, he said.

"It was a long, long, difficult process,” he said, “but you know, I just stayed focused, stayed consistent, and kept it in my mind, and got it done.”

Quick is one of eight young adults who are the first to graduate from Foodlink's Career Fellowship program. The Rochester Public Market hosted the graduation ceremony Thursday.

A number of industries -- from manufacturing to food -- are experiencing a middle skills gap. The Foodlink Career Fellowship seeks to help fill those gaps and reduce poverty in the Rochester area.

The program will wrap up its inaugural year this week. We sit down with a program participant and organizers who share its results and discuss the state of the industry. 

  • Gloria Soldevila Ramos, member of the inaugural cohort of the Foodlink Career Fellowship
  • Mitch Gruber, chief strategy officer for Foodlink, and member of Rochester City Council
  • Lindsy Bennage, training and development coordinator for Wegmans

There’s a shortage of workers in the construction trades. According to the Commercial Construction Index Survey, since 2017, more than half of the trade contractors surveyed stated that they had a high level of difficulty finding skilled workers, and due to that issue, about 70 percent of contractors reported they are challenged to meet schedule requirements.

Local professionals in the trades want to reverse that trend. The Builders Exchange of Rochester is hosting a Construction Career Day, where local educators, students, and parents are invited to experience a day in the life of the trades. The event includes a job site tour, a panel discussion, and a career fair. Organizers hope the event will show students that the trades are a viable alternative to college. Our guests discuss opportunities in their fields and the state of the trades:

Leaders with New York State’s Upstate Revitalization Project say nearly all of the $500 million in funding has been committed. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding in 2015, and to date, the money has been allocated to 100 projects in the Finger Lakes Region. Those projects are grouped under the “United for Success: Finger Lakes Forward” initiative.

Critics have asked why there hasn’t been more progress, but project leaders say a foundation is being built and the initiative represents the beginning of meeting the goal to create thousands of new jobs, reduce poverty, and more.  This hour, we sit down with some of those leaders to discuss what the investment will cover and what they hope its impact will be on the region. In studio:

  • Bob Duffy, co-chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, and president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
  • Anne Kress, co-chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, and president of Monroe Community College
  • Vinnie Esposito, executive director for the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, and regional director for Empire State Development, Finger Lakes Regional Office


New York state and local officials say that the $500 million awarded to the Finger Lakes region by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2015 as part of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative is nearly fully committed. Officials say that money is spread across 100 job-producing projects.

That word came Tuesday at a meeting of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. The Executive Director of that council, Vinnie Esposito, says the Finger Lakes Forward plan is two years ahead of schedule. 

freeimages.com/Dan MacDonald

Educators say a looming teacher shortage in New York state could be a crisis if more people don't go into the profession.

On Thursday evening at Monroe Community College, teachers, high school and college students, professors and policymakers will attend a summit aimed at inspiring a new generation to become teachers.

MCC Faculty Association President Bethany Gizzi will be one of the discussion leaders.