The City University of New York (CUNY) announced the expansion of their Upskilling program, investing almost $2 million in the accelerated training of New Yorkers in order to obtain jobs or course credentials to advance their careers.
This expansion will allow an estimated 2,000 New Yorkers in CUNY Adult and Continuing Education courses (ACE) thanks to the funding from the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), JP Morgan Chase and BNY Mellon.
“We’re proud to be able to continue expanding pathways for New Yorkers who want to meet the demands of booming industries, but are not in a position to seek formal degrees,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez in an announcement Oct 19. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to higher education. There is a growing need to help New Yorkers secure work and advance in their careers. Continuing this Upskilling program here at CUNY is a way for us to uphold our commitment to accessibility and bettering the city.”
The Upskilling program began during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to invest and contribute to New York’s economy as well as providing participants with important career building skills.
To date, over 7,000 students have participated and enrolled in some of the 69 no-cost virtual courses which fall under five different training tracks designed to allow students to complete at their own pace.
“Despite having seven years of IT experience, I just didn’t know how to stand out on paper, so I saw Upskilling as an opportunity for hands-on experience,” said Arnold Moctezuma, a 34-year-old DACA recipient and LaGuardia Community College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice graduate who completed 11 courses as part of the Upskilling Challenge after graduation in 2020 and is now building his own business as an IT consultant. “Right after graduating, certain jobs just expect you to know all about programs. The program helped me get my foot in the door a lot faster.”
For the expansion of the program, CUNY will offer almost 50 free and low-cost classes in industries such as health care, technology, business operation and marketing. Courses are designed and delivered by CUNY ACE at 11 campuses who will operate in partnership with employers including NYU Langone and Amazon Web Services.
Participating schools include Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, City College, NYC College of Technology, College of Staten Island, John Jay College, Kingsborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Lehman College, Queensborough Community College and York College.