Brookhaven Town Supervisor Addresses Graduates Of Stony Brook University Credentialing Program for Displaced Workers
Professional credentialing programs have helped hundreds of displaced workers gain necessary tools to find new employment
STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Last spring, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko addressed new graduates of the credentialing program for displaced workers at Stony Brook University’s Corporate Education and Training program. The Graduation/Round Table event celebrated the initiative and achievement of the individuals who sought out training funded through the Long Island Workforce Boards to help them transition into new careers. Mr. Lesko joined other Long Island business representatives in commending the group and offering them helpful insights into the current economic climate.
“I congratulate all of the graduates of Stony Brook’s Corporate Education and Training program and wish them the best of luck in their future careers. The program does such a great job under Executive Director Patricia Malone and I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak to all the professionals who graduated,” said Supervisor Mark Lesko. “The Town of Brookhaven recently conducted a survey of small businesses in the Town and found that 84% of them believe Brookhaven is a positive place to do business. We also hope to create new opportunities for our workforce through Accelerate Long Island, an effort that has the support of Stony Brook University and other research institutions that will create new start-up companies by connecting entrepreneurs with university research.”
Stony Brook University’s Corporate Education and Training (CET) group and its partners have been recognized for the success of their professional certificate and training programs that have helped hundreds of displaced workers return to productive professional jobs. The innovative program has been recognized regionally and nationally with three awards.
According to Malone, CET has trained more than 700 people using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), National Emergency Grant and Workforce Investment Act funding for professional level training through an unprecedented collaboration with Nassau and Suffolk Counties Workforce Investment Boards and partners and business associates such as the Project Management Institute (PMI), International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the University Career Development Office. “Together, CET and its partners navigated uncharted territory in a crisis providing world class training and connectivity to new and emerging venues in green jobs and healthcare,” she said.
Many unemployed professionals who went through the program have advanced degrees – MBAs, MAs, etc. – and may have held global management positions. But when they became unemployed as a result of the economic downturn, they could not find a job. Many industries were now requiring professional certification for the very same jobs these professionals had held.
“Unless you had the required credentials it didn’t matter is you had 12 advanced degrees,” Ms. Malone said. “In such a competitive market the screening criteria became much more stringent. These credentials show a specific applied knowledge and demonstrated skills in a specialized area of expertise. The academic degree may give you the theory around project management, but not the nuts and bolts skills needed to be employed.”
The need for the new credentials was driven by the employers themselves, and the CET program responded to each new wave of unemployed professionals from various industries and to the shifting requirements of those industries for management professionals.
Project Management/Business Analysis certification was a natural choice. CET had been offering this training to corporations in its community, including Estee Lauder Co., which sponsored over 300 employees in seven countries.
“The growing demand for certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs) across many industry sectors made this training relevant for those in transition,” Ms. Malone said. “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) training was another natural choice given the demand for ‘green’ initiatives.”
While certificate programs can give the unemployed a competitive edge, these individuals needed much more. CET, as part of a leading research university with deep connections in the region, was uniquely positioned to offer a valuable educational experience. Its new program added to that by providing a break from isolation, along with hope and opportunity by including connectivity to university resources.
Certificate programs were re-designed to include career transition workshops and connection to a network of local industry leaders such as Telephonics, Brookhaven National Labs and Motorola acting as a Round Table Advisory Board. As part of this, the critical core partnership established with the SBU Career Center to run workshops also saw joint creation of an Internet portal for professional employment called ZebraNet, which currently houses over 1,000 job openings.
For more information about the Corporate Education and Training program at the Center for Emerging Technologies at Stony Brook University, call 631-632-8910 or go to https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/cet/.
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