workforce development


Jared Valentine used to own a restaurant, and he has marketing experience, but in recent years, he’s been working gigs whenever he can get them. 

After he lost his seasonal job in Zagster’s operations department due to the bike-share company leaving Rochester, he found himself looking for work immediately. 

He recently answered an ad for a per diem position called "COVID relief" with Rochester Regional Health. He said he wanted to pitch in on the front lines of the pandemic. 

His interview started with a phone call.


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.

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

How can small and medium-sized cities in this country build a job base that will last well into the future? It’s a question the city of Ithaca is exploring.

We’re joined by representatives from a new initiative called “Live in Ithaca.” They discuss strategies for recruiting new employees and building and attracting new businesses in a region where the population is declining. In studio:


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.

Empire State Development

A high-tech tool manufacturer and fabricator is expanding operations in Batavia.

Amada Tool America plans to create 17 jobs and officials with Empire State Development say that 68 other jobs will be retained.

The total project cost is $8.8 million; the state is offering up to $150,000 through the Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit program in exchange for job creation commitments.

The project is expected to be completed this year. The Genesee County Economic Development Center is also helping with the expansion.