Thursday, October 02, 2014

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Cortland/Ithaca

Regional economic development funds to help unemployed workers

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Regional economic development funds to help unemployed workers
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Dozens of projects are getting underway courtesy of the second round of state economic development awards. Money is being spent on everything from infrastructure to education. YNN's Chris Whalen takes a look at one program in the Southern Tier that will help put unemployed workers back on the job.

BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- These students at Broome-Tioga BOCES are preparing for a field that, despite a slow-recovering economy, is almost guaranteed to grow.

"The forecast from the New York State Department of Labor says that certified nurse assistants and those related fields, the demand will increase about 15 percent from now until 2018 and that's adding about 100 jobs a year," said Richard Lindhorst.

The reason: A growing elderly population, as well as a large number of baby boomers retiring from jobs in doctors’ offices and hospitals.

Programs like the ones offered at BOCES are ideal for those who are unemployed. The only problem? With no job, it's hard to come up with the $2,000 it costs to enroll.

Lindhorst said, "The regional economic development plan identified health care and preparing a health care workforce as a major initiative in need for the Southern Tier. You'd be able to attend our certified nurse aid class for free."

The $80,000 allotted to BOCES will fund tuition for 40 people who are currently without a job to attend a similar training program.

It's initiatives like these that members of the Regional Economic Development Council see as ways each round of funding continues to impact the area even after the money is spent.

"We're going to continue along in that direction because I think the partnership between business and education is what is going ultimately result in more employment opportunities," Tom Tranter said.

Training for the new crop of nurses aids will begin this summer at BOCES.

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