SUNY Delhi Receives $400k Grant for Workforce Development in Manufacturing Industry

SUNY Delhi has been awarded a $400,000 grant by the Heckscher Foundation for Children, aimed at creating jobs for underserved young adults in New York State. Through the Heckscher Foundation Challenge, SUNY Delhi’s mechatronics program is partnering with JBT Corporation to invest in workforce development to help meet the demand for skilled workers in the manufacturing industry.

The Heckscher Foundation’s transformative grant model for work readiness and job placement programs requires a full-time job commitment from the employer partner. As such, JBT Corporation commits to hiring 25 graduates from SUNY Delhi’s mechatronics program while also helping to develop curriculum updates to the program. The majority of the grant will be used to procure state-of-the-art lab equipment for robotics, pneumatics, and hydraulics technologies to support applied learning. The initiative will provide graduates with a clear path to a meaningful career and offer a critical solution to workforce shortages.

With an ongoing labor shortage, our new initiative comes at a critical time and serves as a model for shifting the paradigm of workforce development programming,” said Peter Sloane, CEO of the Heckscher Foundation. “Our grantees and employer partners are giving these young people a chance at a lifelong career, and we hope the initiative inspires others to adopt our approach of creating alternative paths to full-time employment.”

“Through this generous grant, SUNY Delhi is thrilled to be able to partner with JBT Corporation to strengthen workforce development for our unique mechatronics program and help fill the technical skills gap in the manufacturing industry,” said Dr. Mary Bonderoff, Acting President at SUNY Delhi. “Investing in curriculum advancements and state-of-the-art equipment for robotics, pneumatics, and hydraulics technologies will allow mechatronics students at SUNY Delhi to become leaders in their field and, in turn, benefit their communities in New York State and beyond. Our partnership with JBT Corporation aligns with SUNY Delhi’s commitment to providing applied learning opportunities while also strengthening our role as a frontrunner in producing a highly qualified workforce for the technical sector.

About the Heckscher Foundation for Children
The Heckscher Foundation for Children uses venture philanthropy to fund innovative, results-driven programs and partnerships that level the playing field for underserved youth. Its grants focus primarily on education, including college access and persistence, workforce training and jobs access, and arts education that improves achievement in the classroom. Learn more at

About SUNY Delhi’s Mechatronics Programs
The first of its kind in New York State, SUNY Delhi’s mechatronics program is a frontrunner in the high-demand manufacturing sector. A combination of electronics, parametric design, welding, and more, Delhi’s 2- and 4-year mechatronics programs equip students with a breadth of skills to prepare them to step directly into high-paying jobs working on robotic systems and intelligent equipment in a variety of industries.

Learn more:
Mechatronics Design (AAS)
Mechatronics Technology (BT)

Mechatronics students looking at a dohickie

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