Published: July 30, 2014
Queensborough is one of eight lead CUNY colleges to be awarded grant funds to serve the college and the community by connecting academic excellence with entrepreneurship and local economic development.
President Diane B. Call said, “The $11.5 million dollar award places us as a vanguard to serve two vital industry sectors: technology and healthcare. I am extremely proud that Queensborough Community College has been selected for our innovative ideas and leadership to provide current and prospective students the education to pursue promising careers in fields so important economically to New York City, and especially the borough of Queens.”
The first of the two grant initiatives to be led by Queensborough is The Center for Allied Healthcare Education and Workforce Development, which was awarded $10 million dollars to establish a healthcare clinic and training center in Northern Queens in partnership with Urban Health Plan, Inc., a federally qualified community health center. The 19,000 square-foot facility will provide training programs and clinical rotations for nursing students as well as continuing education students who are preparing for careers such as Phlebotomists and Medical Assistants, one of the fastest growing allied healthcare professions in New York City. The training center will also provide classes in health information technology, a component of healthcare administration absolutely essential to the future of healthcare management. The partnership will expand access to healthcare related educational opportunities through Queensborough’s articulation and dual/joint programs with York College, the School of Professional Studies and Queens College.
Urban Health Plan will provide quality primary and specialty care health services for this underserved community in an affordable, comprehensive and high quality manner through performance advancements of innovative best practices. In addition, the CUNY School of Law will provide free legal services and online healthcare educational opportunities to the community. And lastly, the award will allow Queensborough to upgrade the biotechnology laboratory on campus with state of the art equipment to serve our current and future degree students. These students will also participate in research projects at the Urban Health Plan site. The initiative expects to add over 700 jobs over three years, with 600 of these job positions filled by graduates entering the workforce in professions related to allied healthcare education, a focus of the Regional Economic Development Council.
“This award brings our education, healthcare and legal services all under one roof in the heart of our community,” said Denise Ward, Interim Vice President, Pre-College, Continuing Education and Workforce Development. “I see a great deal of potential for this industry/education partnership program as an educational model.” Ms. Ward is Principal Investigator for the Proposal.
Additionally, Queensborough was awarded a $1.5 million dollar grant to plan and implement an Advanced Manufacturing for Economic Development initiative. This project will create an Advanced Manufacturing Center focused on 3-D printing, to be renovated and equipped within 6 months with 3-D printing equipment. The center will provide workshops and courses to industry, college and high school faculty, and students. Students will gain the skills to design and produce sophisticated components through collaboration with the Queens College Computer Science Department and local high schools, which will create new courses for students to learn sophisticated program and parts processes.
3-D technology enables manufacturers to produce parts locally that are currently developed overseas. As a result, there will be an increased demand for skilled professionals in this emerging technology. Manufacturers will have a steady need of workers for the newly created positions.
“The momentum of 3-D printing to transform manufacturing means industries will need employees who understand how to use the new technology. The grant will support the students as they train to become highly skilled at using 3-D printers and computer drafting software,” said Stuart M. Asser, Professor and Chairperson, Engineering Technology. Professor Asser, Principal Investigator on the proposal, added that Queensborough’s engineering technology faculty has been researching, teaching and developing the potential of 3-D printing for years.
The NY CUNY 2020 program links the knowledge and innovation of higher education to regional economic revitalization, and the Governor appropriated $55 million as part of the 2013-14 State Budget for NY CUNY 2020. The program offers grants for 2 and 4 year colleges within the CUNY system for projects that connect economic development and academic excellence. Projects are selected in a competitive manner based on economic impact, advancement of academic goals, innovation and collaboration. To incentivize long-term economic development implementation plans on CUNY campuses, and in surrounding communities, by providing capital funds to address program development needs.
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