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MCC receives optics grant from Corning

Corning Inc. Foundation has awarded a grant of $750,000 to Monroe Community College’s optics program, aiming to boost the number of graduates who are ready to take on jobs in the optics industry.

The grant will provide a new optics laboratory and expand classroom space at the main campus in Brighton. Additionally, the grant will fund tuition assistance for high school students in dual-enrollment courses and professional development for high school teachers who teach an introductory course in optics.

“Employers need more technicians who are career-ready with a college credential,” said Karen C. Martin, president of the Corning foundation. “MCC understands the needs of employers. The contribution from Corning Foundation to MCC represents cross-sector efforts to attract and educate future optics professionals,” she said.

According to the college, skilled optics technicians are in such high demand that an estimated 75 percent of jobs in the field are projected to go unfilled unless the pipeline of candidates increases. The Corning grant is expected to allow 40 more optics students to be educated annually.

Corning provided $500,000 to MCC in 2012 that helped the college purchase equipment, enhance curriculum based on employer specifications and promote the optics career field to potential students. Enrollment in that program has increased more than 50 percent since 2013.

“Corning Incorporated Foundation’s investment in MCC has created significant opportunities for students who want to enter a growing career field that has current job openings,” said MCC President Anne M. Kress. “Corning’s support helps fuel the college’s growth in this important business sector and, importantly, gives MCC the resources to prepare more students for success.”

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