You are reading

Mets owners award more than $112M to LaGuardia Community College to establish Cohen Career Collective on LIC campus

New York Mets owners Alex and Steve Cohen gifted more than $112M to create a state-of-the-art workforce training center at LaGuardia Community College. Photo courtesy of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation.

Mar. 20, 2024 By Bill Parry

The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation has awarded a grant of $116.2 million to LaGuardia Community College to create a new state-of-the-art workforce training center at its Long Island City campus.

The 160,000-square-foot Cohen Career Collective facility will ensure economic mobility for New Yorkers while providing skilled workers for local employers. Construction of the facility is anticipated to be completed by January 2029.

Photo courtesy of the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation

The gift is the largest ever to a community college in the United States and was a long-time vision and dream of Alex Cohen, the president of the foundation who also co-owns the Mets with her husband Steven.

“I wanted to create a place where students have access to high-quality programs and facilities and can learn skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world,” Cohen said. “Our goal is to make a positive difference in people’s lives. We are proud to create the Cohen Career Collective and are committed to our neighbors here in Queens.”

Education and training programs at the center will lead to associate degrees, industry certifications, and other credentials valued by employers citywide in high-demand sectors including healthcare, construction, technology, culinary and hospitality, green jobs, and film and television. Comprehensive student support services will also be available, such as career advising, preparation for job interviews, job placement, childcare, and financial literacy training.

“The Cohen Career Collective will be the largest career and technical training facility of its kind in the region, offering programs to prepare New Yorkers of all ages, backgrounds, and educational levels for good jobs in high-growth sectors of our local economy,” LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams said.

“Alex Cohen is passionate about making quality, affordable workforce training available to low-income Yorkers who want to learn new skills, get good jobs, and provide for their families. We are truly honored that she turned to LaGuardia to bring her vision to life through the creation of the Cohen Career Collective.”

The $112.2 million grant is the largest donation in the history of City University of New York.

“CUNY is immensely grateful to the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation for this extraordinary gift that will have a transformational impact for LaGuardia Community College and CUNY,” CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said. “This historic $116.2 million investment multiplies CUNY’s role as an engine of upward mobility and doubles down on our commitment to helping our students not only get a degree but a well-paying job after graduation.”

The facility will include specialized shops, labs, and classrooms for hands-on instruction and training. It will also have quiet study areas, student meeting rooms, a Career Services Center, computer labs, a lecture hall, storage areas for equipment and materials, restrooms, locker rooms, mechanical rooms, electrical/data closets, and a Student Welcome Center.

In addition to career and technical training, The Cohen Career Collective will provide English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for foreign-born students who need to improve their English skills before taking vocational programs.

High-school equivalency classes will be offered to ensure that trainees obtain their GEDs, the basic credential required for most jobs. The Cohen Career Collective will also be the home of LaGuardia’s Summer Youth Employment Program, which the college runs in collaboration with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development.

“This exceptional gift from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation – the largest ever in CUNY’s history – will be transformational. The Cohen Career Collective will dramatically increase CUNY’s capacity to prepare students for career success and economic mobility,” said William C. Thompson, Jr., Chairman of the CUNY Board of Trustees. “LaGuardia Community College, CUNY, and New York’s economic prosperity depend on a well-educated and highly trained workforce, and this historic gift will position CUNY as the leader in workforce development.”

Students of the Cohen Career Collective will include recent high school graduates, new immigrants and asylum-seekers, students in the college’s Associate degree programs, veterans, the formerly incarcerated, workers in search of new skills and career opportunities, students with disabilities, and many others.

“I look forward to the many ways in which the Cohen Career Collective will help promote educational equity and advance LaGuardia and CUNY’s role as a driver of inclusive growth in New York,” Matos Rodríguez said.

The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation has provided over $1.2 billion of charitable support to nonprofit organizations since its inception in 2001, including over $185 million of charitable support focused on Queens.

email the author:
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Southeast Queens parents of teen driver sentenced on child endangerment charges after son allegedly killed a girl during a horrific collision: DA

A Springfield Gardens couple was sentenced in Queens Supreme Court on Monday in a groundbreaking case of endangering the welfare of a child charges for allowing their 16-year-old son to drive a sports car they gave him before he was old enough to drive.

The teenager was charged with manslaughter in the death of 14-year-old Fortune Williams, who was riding in the car when the youngster was in a gruesome collision with a delivery truck while speeding more than 100 miles per hour in January 2023.

Mets partner with mass mobility service company Rally to provide gameday shuttles for three upcoming games

Jul. 22, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The New York Mets and mass mobility service company Rally on July 19 announced a partnership to provide shuttle service to three upcoming Mets games from special locations or crowdsourced trips. This service will be available for the Saturday, July 27, game against the Atlanta Braves, the Saturday, Aug. 17, game against the Miami Marlins and the Saturday, Sept. 7, game against the Cincinnati Reds.