More Money for Community Colleges?

January 9, 2012 Updated Jan 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

January 9, 2012 Updated Jan 9, 2012 at 9:42 PM EDT

(Buffalo, NY) By law, New York State is mandated to fund 40% of community college budgets - but they don't always come through.

"Over the years, for a lot of reasons, the State has not met that number - only once," says Erie Community College President Jack Quinn.

Now with attention being focused on Governor Cuomo's billion dollar job plan for Buffalo, many people are calling on the State to properly fund the community colleges, so they can provide job training.

"These learning centers are so important to our economy," says New York State Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver.

"We must increase our investment in them."

At Erie Community College, they spent $100,000 for a new state-of-the art industrial manufacturing machine called a waterjet.

A sign posted outside the waterjet advises students that the new spring 2012 classes "will fill up quick!"

"We are not doing tooling by hand anymore, its all by waterjet, computers, and technology," adds E.C.C. President Quinn.

The college currently has a waiting list for its Industrial Technology program, and they say the extra money from New York State will allow them to expand their courses.

"So we can buy the equipment, that trains the people, that gets the job. It is an absolute formula that can be followed, and now we are ready to do it," comments the college president.

Currently, demand for students with industrial technology training is exceeding the school's capacity to train them.

"We are filled with a waiting list of 140 students," says Quinn.