News: C-GCC Leader Addresses Cannabis Career Expo
By Raymond Pignone, Columbia-Greene Media, Oct 4, 2023
SCHENECTADY – New York’s burgeoning cannabis industry represents the future for students attending two-year colleges, said Dr. Carlee Drummer, president of Columbia-Greene Community College, at the first SUNY Cannabis and Career Education Expo.
The expo explored developments and opportunities in New York’s growing cannabis industry Tuesday at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Schenectady. Industry leaders, business owners, educators and those interested in the cannabis industry attended the free, all-day expo.
“New York’s cannabis industry opens up an entirely new career path for students, and Columbia-Greene is proud to be part of the CannaBusiness Education Hub with Schenectady, Adirondack and Fulton-Montgomery community colleges,” Drummer said. “During the last academic year, Columbia-Greene offered two microcredentials focused on cannabis retail and sales and cannabis cultivation and processing. Together these certificates provide the training students need to obtain employment in a cannabis dispensary or cultivation facility.”
Discussions at the expo centered around the industry, covering topics including social justice, workers rights and college programs.
The CannaBusiness Education Hub is the vision of the C4 Cannabis Consortium comprised of SUNY Schenectady, SUNY Adirondack, SUNY Columbia-Greene and SUNY Fulton-Montgomery. It was funded by a $1 million grant from New York State and is dedicated to creating cannabis-based workforce development.
Each of the colleges highlighted new educational initiatives at their campuses with SUNY Schenectady offering a Culinary Cannabis Microcredential; SUNY Adirondack offering a Cannabis Business Entrepreneurship Microcredential and Cannabis and Hemp Production Microcredential; Columbia-Greene Community College offering a Cannabis Retail and Sales Microcredential; and SUNY Fulton-Montgomery offering a Cultivation Technician Certificate, Dispensary Sales and Management Certificate, and Quality Lab Assurance Technician Certificate.
Attendees also learned about cultivation with discussions about soil health and processing. Those interested in starting their own cannabis business attended workshops on financing, ancillary business, building a brand and retail.
Leaders of the CannaBusiness Education Hub institutions noted the importance of joining together to provide training programs and also how the expo allowed for valuable networking opportunities and discussions.
“SUNY Schenectady and our fellow SUNY institutions here today are at the forefront of offering students avenues to explore this evolving sector through career-oriented programs that support the growth of jobs in the marketplace,” said Dr. Steady Moono, president of SUNY Schenectady. “With our new Cannabis Edibles Microcredential, we build upon the culinary spirit in our outstanding School of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism so that students can gain the educational foundation for this aspect of the cannabis industry while filling workforce needs in New York State. Today’s expo was a wonderful opportunity for students, the community and cannabis leaders to exchange ideas and learn about training opportunities at our CannaBusiness Education Hub institutions.”