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College to Reimagine Newburgh Workforce Training Programming

May 28, 2019

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – The Orange County Community College Board of Trustees has directed President Dr. Kristine Young to reimagine the College’s proposed Innovation Grand Street workforce training initiative in the City of Newburgh into a geographically more diverse project that will educate and train a broader clientele.

The College remains committed to its pledge to help spark downtown Newburgh revitalization while growing a skilled talent pipeline for local employers. However, at the Board’s urging, SUNY Orange will seek alternative locations on its own campuses, as well as within the City of Newburgh, and at potential sites throughout Orange County, rather than the three Grand Street buildings originally targeted by the College for renovation and use.

The College’s two-phase proposal for Innovation Grand Street had called for renovations to the Masonic Lodge (48 Grand St.) and the American Legion building (62 Grand St.) in Phase I with the YMCA building (54 Grand St.), located between the Masonic Lodge and American Legion facilities, to be upgraded in Phase II. The College learned recently that the County Legislature has other plans for the YMCA.

“It is our very strong belief that the recent decision by the Legislature to exclude the YMCA building from this project negatively impacts the financial plan and overall proforma of our initiative, and we could not reasonably proceed,” Young explained. “The overall strategy for Innovation Grand Street incorporated an integrated and thoughtful use of all three buildings, providing for specific uses by building type, scale, internal footprint and collaborative mix.

“We are moving forward with a new, exciting and geographically broader approach to educating and training a dynamic and better prepared workforce of the future,” Young added. “The Grand Street buildings were optimal from our perspective because of their proximity to our Newburgh campus, but the reality is that we can offer the type of programming we envision in a variety of locations both within the City’s borders and beyond. For us, ‘how’ we develop programming and offer training is more important than ‘where’ that training happens.”

The Innovation Grand Street initiative has garnered a sizable influx of public and private financial support, to the tune of more than $3 million to date.

“Our core vision for this initiative remains the same, and our commitment to have a major presence in Newburgh is as strong as ever,” Young said. “But, moving forward, we will evaluate other potential space and locations on our current campuses, in the City of Newburgh and in other Orange County communities. Our mission to provide value to private sector employers with an enhanced workforce development strategy remains a top priority.”