PLATTSBURGH — North Country residents will soon have increased access to educational opportunities in the fields of health care and technology.
SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton and North Country community colleges are among 36 SUNY campuses across the state to receive three-year grants through the SUNY High-Needs Program, which aims to prepare the state’s workforce for certain career fields.
North Country Community College, based in Saranac Lake with branch campuses in Malone and Ticonderoga, was awarded a $450,000 High-Needs Grant to establish associates of applied science degree programs at its Malone campus for students who wish to become chemical-dependency counselors and human-services assistants.
The State Department of Labor forecasts a job growth of 8 to 10.5 percent in those fields over the next 10 years, according to Maureen Sayles, assistant dean for grants and funded programs at NCCC.
The programs, which share curriculum, must still be reviewed by SUNY and the State Education Department, Sayles said, but the college hopes to offer them in Malone by fall 2013 or spring 2014.
In addition, she said, the college would like to eventually offer the degrees at its Ticonderoga campus, as well.
Offering the programs at NCCC, Sayles noted, will give North Country residents “much easier access to seek education that will lead to a high-needs, high-demand position” and provide the area with a workforce that meets employer needs.
The college will also increase staffing to accommodate the programs, she added.
Clinton Community received a High-Needs Grant totaling $328,617, with $40,346 going to the college’s Electrical Technology Program, $77,293 to its Information Technology Program and $210,978 to its Nursing Program.
“The money will pay for the upgrade of equipment in our labs for all three programs,” CCC Director of Community and Workforce Development Paul DeDominicas told the Press-Republican in an email.