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NY Community Colleges to Train Students for Cannabis Industry

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State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) community colleges will receive $5 million in funding to support the development and expansion of short courses that lead to employment in the cannabis industry Gov. Kathy Hochul announced.

With the state preparing to introduce adult-use cannabis retailers later this year, the initiative will help meet industry demand for a skilled workforce, and the administration’s mission of ensuring equity in market opportunities.

“New York’s new cannabis industry is creating exciting opportunities,” Gov. Hochul said. “Diversity and inclusion are what makes New York’s workforce a competitive, powerful asset, and we will continue to take concrete steps to help ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate in the cannabis industry.”

Participating Colleges

Four community colleges — three from SUNY and one from CUNY — will each receive $1 million and $2 million, respectively. Each campus will serve as a program lead, collaborating with a dozen other community colleges across the state.

The funding will go toward non-degree or degree-eligible courses to develop a skilled workforce for the cannabis sector, which is expected to be a multi-billion dollar industry, adding thousands of jobs.

The New York Office of Cannabis Management and the state Department of Labor (DOL) will be tasked with connecting job seekers and businesses to community college training programs as part of the initiative. The DOL will assist candidates in resume writing, preparing for job interviews, and promoting regional career opportunities following completion of the courses.

“Legal cannabis in New York means cannabis opportunities for New Yorkers,” OCM Executive Director, Chris Alexander, said. “It’s wonderful to see community colleges help their students develop the skills necessary to be players in this burgeoning industry.”

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