Bronx Community College to Host Virtual COVID-19 Business and Education Panel


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CUNY Chancellor: “The road to New York City’s economic recovery runs through the City University of New York.”
Photo: YouTube

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.

The Chancellor of The City University of New York Félix V. Matos Rodríguez will be among the speakers on Wednesday, July 8, for “Skills Wanted: CUNY as Engine of Economic Recovery,” an online panel of experts on preparing the local workforce for the economy that emerges in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The road to New York City’s economic recovery runs through the City University of New York,” says Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. “As an engine of social mobility that propels our students into the middle class and beyond, CUNY has a proven track record of innovative collaborations with our industry partners in high-growth areas such as public interest technology, health care, data science and cybersecurity to name a few. CUNY is committed to creating educational and training opportunities for our students to give them the competitive skills they’ll need after graduation.”

The gathering of businesses, foundations and academia will also feature Tamar Jacoby, president of Opportunity America, a think tank and policy shop promoting economic mobility that is co-sponsoring the event with Bronx Community College. “CUNY has a long, illustrious history of helping less-advantaged New Yorkers make the leap into the middle class,” notes Ms. Jacoby. “What’s shifting today as the COVID crisis and surging technological change transform the economy: some old routes to the middle class are disappearing, while other, new roads open up. This creates new opportunities for CUNY — if it can adjust to keep up with the economy.” A report by Opportunity America is calling for an emphasis on workforce education as a key part of reviving the city’s economy.

Spectrum News NY1 political anchor Errol Louis will moderate the discussion. Other speakers will include Bronx Community College President Thomas A. Isekenegbe, Strada Education Network Senior Vice President of Consumer Insights Dave Clayton, New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals Executive Director Melinda Mack, Partnership for New York City President and CEO Kathryn Wylde and Pinkerton Foundation President Rick Smith.

“We’ve seen too many young people turn away from CUNY and toward nonprofit workforce training programs,” Pinkerton President Smith observes. “Why? Because they build immediate skills, partner effectively with employers and help participants get good jobs. It’s time for these two powerful institutions to work together to unlock human potential and spur economic development.”

In addition to the panel discussion, Opportunity America will release a policy brief outlining the opportunities and challenges ahead for the CUNY system.

This is an historic opportunity for CUNY, but it will require adjustments across the system, and the challenges ahead are as big as the opportunity. Local media is invited to hear researchers and stakeholders consider the city’s shifting workforce needs and what CUNY can do to address them. The event will run from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. For further information, contact [email protected].

Editor’s Note: A CUNY Associate Professor has published her objections to the Opportunity America think tank which she says would be “incredibly detrimental to both faculty and students of color” because she said, “Under the Opportunity America model, we would defund Black and Latinx Studies.”

That article can be linked here:

About Bronx Community College

Bronx Community College of the City University of New York offers more than 40 academic programs that prepare students for careers and to continue their education at four-year colleges. Located on a 45-acre tree-lined campus, BCC is home to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, the country’s first hall of fame. The College provides its approximately 10,000 students with quality academic programs, outstanding faculty, and flexible class schedules. BCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), with students representing approximately 100 countries. In October 2012, the BCC campus was declared a National Historic Landmark, becoming the country’s first community college campus to receive such a designation. For more information about Bronx Community College, visit

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