Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced Rochester will receive nearly $16 million in funding to support three projects aimed at reducing poverty in the Finger Lakes region — Monroe Community College’s new Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center at Eastman Business Park, the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative’s new “Mentors for Success” pilot program, and the long-standing Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection program.
Gov. Cuomo made the announcement at The Community Place of Greater Rochester on Parsells Ave. Wednesday.
“Poverty is one of the most complex and pervasive challenges of our time, and successful solutions must start at the local level and empower communities with the resources, and tools they need,” the governor stated. “These investments will help tear down the barriers that have trapped so many honest, hard-working New Yorkers in a cycle of poverty, and create new pathways to help these families find prosperity.”
According to Cuomo, the projects will receive funding through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council’s “One Community Plan,” which identifies priority projects that develop cradle-to-career workforce readiness initiatives.
Cuomo said MCC’s Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center has been designed to train and match workers with high technology jobs in energy, biomaterials, functional films, and photonics offered by companies at Eastman Business Park, while RMAPI’s Mentors for Success program has been created to provide city residents with the tools to achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Participants in the program will receive cash incentives for reporting monthly progress, and achieving the goals they set such as raising children’s grades; improving their credit score; increasing their education/job skills; or building their savings, RMAPI officials stated.
In addition, the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection currently pairs about 700 Rochester-area high school students with mentoring services, and part-time jobs each year.
“This funding will help Mentors for Success, the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, and the new Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center provide new educational opportunities, and help our citizens access in-demand jobs, uplifting our neighborhoods, and community as a whole,” Mayor Lovely Warren stated. “Thanks to recent investment in Upstate New York, we are starting to see true and meaningful change, and for that I would like to thank Gov. Cuomo, for seeing the potential that cities like Rochester bring to improve the entire state’s economy.”