Binghamton Opportunity Center launches with first class

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Program adds academic development to existing tech training at top ATTAIN lab in the State

                (BINGHAMTON, NY)—In an effort to arm local jobseekers with both technical and academic training needed to find employment, the Binghamton Opportunity Center (BOC) launched with its first class Wednesday. This new pilot program, modeled after the SUNY UCAWD Educational Opportunity Centers, combines courses at SUNY Broome Community College that will train students in business and administration with existing technology classes offered at Binghamton’s two ATTAIN labs.

“The 21st Century workforce requires job applicants to have both academic and information technology skills,” said Jennifer Lesko, CEO of the Broome County Urban League. “We’ve had tremendous success since 2009 training underemployed and unemployed workers. It’s a natural fit to add the essential academic courses to help local jobseekers stand out.”

Up to 200 individuals who have been out of work for at least 20 weeks may qualify for free tuition for the BOC program. The project is funded by a $100 thousand grant secured through the 2013 Regional Economic Development Council Awards.

“SUNY’s University Center for Academic and Workforce Development celebrates the continued success of our Binghamton ATTAIN labs,” said ATTAIN Project Manager Derek Westbrook. “These vital resources increase digital literacy by providing local community access to IT instruction and Microsoft certifications. We applaud the innovative ways they have sought to tailor their programs and services to the needs of the region culminating in this latest collaboration.”

“It’s exciting and rewarding to see this investment in our community finally come to fruition,” said SUNY Broome President Kevin Drumm, “SUNY Broome is proud to be a partner in the investment. Most of today’s jobs require at least some level of college education beyond high school and technical training. The Binghamton Opportunity Center will now make this possible for citizens who previously could not access a higher education due to their life circumstances.”

Two ATTAIN labs were created in Binghamton in 2008 after Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo helped secure funding through SUNY. The labs are part of a statewide network of educational technology training that provides communities access to IT instruction and Microsoft certification. The local labs have continued to grow since their inception six years ago, and have been recognized as the best in the State in 2013.

“As our economy continues to recover, we need to change our approach to how we prepare those returning to the workforce,” said Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell). “The Binghamton Opportunity Center is a prime example of the innovative and collaborative work being done in our area.”

Classes will be offered to workers who have been unemployed for more than 20 weeks on a rolling basis through August 31, 2015. Interested applicants should contact ATTAIN Site Supervisor, Karen Wike at (607) 772-4765 or