Lead the Way: A Workforce Development
Video Contest

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York sponsored a pilot video contest to increase awareness about specific middle-skill occupations that are growing in demand. Middle-skill occupations, ranging from computer information systems specialists to hotel managers to nursing assistants, require specialized training and education but typically less than a bachelor’s degree.

The New York Fed’s Lead the Way: A Workforce Development Video Contest challenged teams of college students from Monroe Community College, Finger Lakes Community College and Genesee Community College in the Greater Rochester Area to create 30-second videos about middle-skill occupations. The videos needed to identify the estimated job demand, top three skill clusters required and expected wages for one industry and one occupational group within that industry as identified in the student participation packet.

Prizes included the winning video being shown in local movie theaters, scholarship money, internships and career advice.

Why Workforce Development?

Without a skilled workforce, a region’s economy may not have enough workers to help existing companies expand or attract new employers to the region, both of which can lead to economic growth. As new jobs are created, the effects on the economy multiply as income generated is spent locally on goods and services.

Why the Greater Rochester Area?

Within the Greater Rochester Area there is a shortage of skilled workers in the educational pipeline—the area’s future workforce—and a skills gap in the existing workforce. In addition, while the region experienced population growth between 2000 and 2013, population declined 17 percent for 25-44 year olds, a key workforce demographic.

Why a Video Contest?

The videos are meant to serve as a peer-to-peer learning tool and can be thought of as Public Service Announcements. The industries and occupations profiled in the videos are in demand. Video contest participants helped to spread the word about the kind of career opportunities that exist in the Greater Rochester area.

Who Was Eligible?

For this pilot contest, we only accepted submissions from part-time or full-time students enrolled at Monroe Community College, Genesee Community College, and Finger Lakes Community College.

What Were the Prizes?

Grand Prize, First Place:

  • Video shown in a local movie theater;
  • $500 scholarship award from the Rochester Area Community Foundation for each student;
  • Internship placement; and
  • Professional career advice.

Second Place:

  • $250 scholarship award from the Rochester Area Community Foundation for each student;
  • Internship placement; and
  • Professional career advice.

Third Place:

  • Professional career advice.
Contest Packet

Download a copy of the student participation packet for more details about the contest, including rules, requirements and prizes.

Download fact sheets about each industry:

All contest files are in PDF format.

Theaters Where the Winning Video Played
Movie Theater
Greece Ridge Stadium 12
Rochester, New York
Henrietta Stadium 18
Rochester, New York
Movies 10
Rochester, New York
Tinseltown 17 with IMAX
Rochester, New York
Eastview Mall 13
Victor, New York
Winning Videos
First Place: "Not Just a Geek"
Kevin Johnson, Zach Lyman and Sam McCumiskey
Finger Lakes Community College
Second Place: "Be Happy, Be a Nurse"
Zachary Shackelford
Monroe Community College
Third Place: "Nursing Commercial for Workforce Development"
Codey Dingfield
Finger Lakes Community College
Contest Documents
Javier Silva
Associate Director, Community Engagement

Chelsea Cruz
Sr. Analyst, Community Engagement

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