Agricultural Engineering Department Receives $500,000 to Develop Workforce Training Program in Power Machinery

SUNY Cobleskill’s Agricultural Engineering department is introducing a workforce training certificate program in power machinery with grant support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). In collaboration with large, multi-location agricultural equipment dealerships in New York State, this program will deliver industry-recognized credentials and certificates focused on hydraulics, electrical systems, air conditioning, safety, diesel engines, and transmissions, addressing a lack of qualified technicians to service and maintain increasingly complex agricultural power equipment.

Training will take place at BOCES, available to high school students, adult learners, and technicians in need of retraining. Through this approach, SUNY Cobleskill looks to increase the number of dealerships working directly with high school technology programs to ensure student learning outcomes are relevant to the agriculture power machinery industry.

“With ongoing labor shortages across the country, it is critical that we invest in upstate New Yorkers and give them the tools they need to succeed,” said Rep. Antonio Delgado, NY-19. “This grant will develop a training program and provide community members and students with the skills and industry-accepted credentials necessary to gain full-time employment. I am proud to announce this funding and will keep pushing for programs and policies to grow New York’s workforce.”

As we continue to reinforce our role as a regional, rural-serving institution, our initiatives find a solid alignment with the changing dynamics of our agricultural economy and its workforce needs,” said SUNY Cobleskill President Dr. Marion Terenzio. “We are grateful to have partners in NIFA and Congressman Delgado supporting these initiatives as we build bridges that connect learners in our communities with the skilled jobs at home. Through these collaborations, new avenues are created for learners of all ages to markedly engage with the educational and employment options in our agriculture industries.”

The workforce training program is anticipated to be first offered in Fall 2023.

NIFA provides leadership and funding for programs that advance agriculture-related sciences, ensuring the development of human capital, communities, and a diverse workforce through the USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area.