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November 15, 2012

Schumer urges Regents to OK diploma paths

Staff Report
The Daily Star

---- — U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is urging the New York State Board of Regents to approve two initiatives aimed at training better workers for the state’s high-tech and manufacturing sectors.

“As upstate New York’s economy switches gears toward the advanced industries of the 21st century, we need our students and education system to keep pace,” Schumer said Wednesday in a media release.

The two proposals would create alternative paths to high school graduation.

One of them is called a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, diploma. Its goal is to produce more highly skilled workers for the state’s high-tech industries.

The other is a Career and Technical Education, or CTE, diploma, which would focus on skills needed to perform regional manufacturing jobs, such as precision machining, welding, optics and imaging.

Schumer said approval of the alternative diploma paths would help ensure that New Yorkers are both career- and college-ready, and would close skills gaps in such industries as high-tech manufacturing, nanotechnology and biosciences.

“Rapid growth in New York’s specialized manufacturing, biotechnology and nanotech sectors should go hand-in-hand with an uptick in local job creation,” the senator said. “But a shortage of qualified local workers means that’s not always the case.”

The process to enact the new paths and diplomas will be addressed at upcoming Board of Regents meetings. The board of Regents will then have to vote on any changes, and, if approved, the new pathways would take effect in September.