Recently, Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York announced that the state had allocated $5 million to community colleges for the improvement and development of programs and courses meant to help individuals secure jobs in the cannabis industry. Hochul stated that this initiative would help meet the demand for a skilled workforce in the burgeoning industry as well assist the administration in meeting its goal to ensure that there was equity in market opportunities.
The funding initiative will allocate $1 million each to a trio of community colleges in the State University of New York system and the remaining $2 million to one city University of New York community college. Each of these campuses is expected to partner with other community colleges in the state and will act as the marijuana education program lead.
The funds will be used for degree and nondegree eligible programs and courses, as well as stackable micro-credentials and credentials that will be developed to help the local cannabis businesses in the state to find qualified candidates.
In a press release, the governor stated that the state’s new marijuana industry was creating exciting opportunities, noting that the administration would ensure that individuals in the state who wanted careers in the flourishing industry could access the quality training they required to be successful. She added that inclusion and diversity are what made the state of New York a powerful and competitive asset, noting that they would also take steps to ensure that every person had the opportunity to participate in the marijuana industry.
The press release also stated that the selected colleges would serve social equity candidates as defined under the Office of Cannabis Management’s regulations. In addition to this, these institutions will also need to work with local cannabis businesses in their communities to help inform their marijuana curriculum. The Office of Cannabis Management and the Department of Labor in the state will also be required to connect businesses and individuals seeking jobs to these training programs. Once individuals have completed said programs, the Department of Labor will be tasked with assisting them with completing their resumes, preparing for job interviews and promoting career opportunities.
This initiative comes as regulators in the state work to develop and implement rules for the cannabis market, which is set to launch its adult-use marijuana retailers later this year.
The state of New York is one of many in the country that are working to advance cannabis legalization and decriminalization reforms so that licensed entities similar to Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) can set up shop and serve clients in this space.
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