Capital Region Community Colleges Launch Coalition in Response to Workforce Shortage

President Duffy at C5 Conference
September 18, 2018

Five SUNY community colleges made their collective case for a place at the economic-development table today, with the official launch of the Capital Community College Career Coalition (C5).

A collaborative effort of SUNY Adirondack, Columbia-Greene Community College, Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Hudson Valley Community College and SUNY Schenectady County Community College, C5 aims to create new career pathways for capital region residents by identifying skill gaps, strengthening partnerships with local businesses, and developing new relationships between the colleges and workforce development entities.

Each of the Capital Region community college presidents signed the Contract for 21st Century Career Training –- a pledge to work together to solve workforce shortages -– to formalize the initiative today, along with local workforce partners and industry representatives.

Dustin Swanger, Ed.D., president of Fulton-Montgomery Community College, said that the Coalition will work toward developing actionable, sustainable solutions to help grow the supply of potential workers for high-tech industries and other jobs in the region.

Andrew Kennedy, president of the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) based in Albany, N.Y., said that the CEG’s research indicates that a low unemployment rate, combined with a 51 percent increase in job creation since 2016, has resulted in a shortage of qualified workers trained to fill emerging jobs.

“Every job opening represents an opportunity for a stronger and more inclusive economy for the Capital Region and a better livelihood for its residents,” Kennedy said. “CEG and our community colleges are working together to build and expand talent pipelines so no opportunities are missed.”

To continue to move the conversation forward, a C5 Summit has been planned for Friday, Nov. 2, and will include representatives from educational, legislative, non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses in both the public and private sectors.

Collaborative work between the five colleges began in 2017, including the creation of a new white paper -– SUNY Community Colleges – Helping Drive New York’s Economic Development -– that outlines the real need for the training and education provided by these institutions if the region expects continued growth. A series of online videos underscoring the various college-to-career programs available to capital region residents was also produced and promoted by each campus throughout the 2017 – 2018 school year. For more information, visit

About C5

The Capital Community College Career Coalition, composed of Hudson Valley Community College, SUNY Schenectady, SUNY Adirondack, Fulton-Montgomery Community College and Columbia-Greene Community College, was created to combine and concentrate workforce development efforts between community colleges in the Capital Region to provide skilled graduates who can help address that skills gap. Together, the Coalition is priming the “talent pipeline” and training workers for in-demand jobs.