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State approves FLCC viticulture degree

The state Education Department has approved Finger Lakes Community College’s new degree in viticulture and wine technology, the only community college program of its kind in the Northeastern. The first classes are slated to begin in September.

FLCC faculty and staff developed the program to meet the requirements for transfer to Cornell University’s viticulture program and consulted with potential employers, officials said. The degree program balances the need for knowledge of chemistry and botany with practical skills such as occupational Spanish and pesticide application.

The state approval was the final step in a two-year process to develop and certify the degree program. The State University of New York approved the degree this year. Its first class is to graduate in May 2011 with an associate in applied science degree in viticulture and wine technology.

“The people who owned the wineries and vineyards wanted us to create a two-year degree program that would serve their needs, so they would have employees who were well-rounded,” said Jana Lamboy, assistant professor of ornamental horticulture.
“Besides vocational training, employers wanted the new workers to be well-spoken, to have computer skills and to understand chemistry.”

The program is part of the college’s mission to support economic growth in the Finger Lakes region by training workers specifically for local industries.
 
“It is the vision of Finger Lakes Community College to be a dynamic learning resource, central to the cultural and economic vitality of the area we serve,” said Barbara Risser, FLCC president. “As the wine industry grows and increasingly defines the Finger Lakes region, we are ready to support it with skilled workers.”

(c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

 

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