ROCHESTER— The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Rochester Area Community Foundation and RCTV Rochester's Community Media Center announced the finalists and winners of the second annual Leading the Way: A Greater Rochester Workforce Development Video Campaign (Leading the Way) during an awards ceremony last night. Leading the Way intends to increase understanding about in-demand industries and the skillsets they require by challenging students to create public service video announcements about skills needed for local career opportunities. The first-place team is from P-TECH Rochester which created a video about cybersecurity and the prevention of hacking. Among other prizes, the video will be shown in four local movie theaters.
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren was the keynote speaker. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard delivered welcoming remarks.
Mayor Warren underscored that the skills gap is a critical issue for the Greater Rochester Area and she highlighted the key efforts underway to address this. "Research data has shown that there are an estimated 500 job openings in various technological fields each year in the Rochester area, and there are not enough skilled workers to fill them" said Mayor Warren. "Closing the middle-skills gap is critical to insuring that local industries get the workers they need to operate their businesses at full potential, and our citizens have access to stable, good-paying jobs. That's why programs like P-TECH are so vitally important to our efforts to create more jobs, more vibrant neighborhoods, and better educational opportunities for every resident."
Leading the Way builds on the New York Fed and the broader Federal Reserve System's efforts to help workers develop the skills necessary to adapt to today's economy. Through this and other initiatives like Investing in America's Workforce, the Fed has focused on reframing workforce development as an investment, encouraging partnerships, and leveraging resources to improve economic mobility and job opportunities.
"The New York Fed is intently focused on supporting efforts to close the skills gap and help workers adapt to the ever-changing economy," said Tony Davis, New York Fed director of Community Engagement. "With its first-rate educational institutions and innovative industries, the Rochester area is poised for success. Programs like Leading the Way play an important role in challenging young adults here to deeply understand the skills they need for available jobs."
2017 Leading the Way Campaign
The awards ceremony last night marked the conclusion of a contest that ran throughout the fourth quarter of 2017 and involved P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) students. The P-TECH model is a 6-year program (covering grades 9-14) that focuses on career readiness and involves a partnership between at least one school district, college and employer—making up a "P-TECH school." Students who complete the program receive a high school diploma and an associate college degree at no cost. The program includes training in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as access to industry mentors, with the goal of providing a pathway to full-time employment after graduation.
This year's campaign drew submissions from three P-TECH schools in the Greater Rochester Area—P-TECH Rochester, Wayne Finger Lakes P-TECH and Western New York Tech Academy. Videos were required to highlight one technical skill associated with a P-TECH career pathway (such as designing and implementing computer network systems, as needed in the information technology industry) and two professional skills (such as personal traits or group experience) in a 30-second segment.
The first-place team is from P-TECH Rochester. The winning video focuses on cybersecurity and the prevention of hacking.
All three participating schools were represented among the nine finalists. Finalists from P-TECH Rochester focused on the computer information technology industry; finalists from Wayne Finger Lakes P-TECH schools focused on instrumentation and control technologies as well as mechanical technology; and finalists from Western New York Tech Academy focused on supply chain management and accounting.
Following the remarks the finalists were announced and their videos were aired before a panel for live judging. The judges on the panel were Alexis Arnold, Anchor/Reporter of 13WHAM News; Carvin Eison, General Manager of RCTV Rochester's Community Media Center; Staci Henning, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Greater Rochester Enterprise; Michael Mandina, President of Optimax Systems, Inc. Jazz Williams of News10NBC and WDKX-FM emceed the event. Simeon Banister, Senior Director of Equity at the Rochester Area Community Foundation provided concluding remarks.