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Cayuga Milk Ingredients and Cayuga Community College are partnering on a new initiative designed to help grow a new generation of agricultural employees.
In a joint effort by Cayuga Milk Ingredients (CMI) and Cayuga, CMI is sponsoring a scholarship for newly graduating high school students employed at CMI who are pursuing coursework at Cayuga. The $1,000 scholarship facilitates opportunities for students to pursue academic and career training at Cayuga while also gaining valuable work experience at CMI.
The scholarship also affords new high school graduates an opportunity to identify their best career path before committing the time and financial resources to earning a degree and developing the adaptable, transferrable skillsets needed to succeed.
“We at CMI are excited about this partnership with Cayuga. Our people are our most valuable resource and we are appreciative of the opportunity and ability to invest in our local community and employees,” said CMI CEO Kevin Ellis.
“Cayuga Community College is committed to supporting the local workforce as they explore career possibilities. This scholarship creates an opportunity for some of the youngest members of our workforce to identify what they want for a career, and how they can take the first step in accessing the training needed to make that career a reality,” said Dr. Keiko Kimura, Cayuga’s Vice President of Workforce Development and Partnerships. “Cayuga is proud to partner with Cayuga Milk Ingredients on this new initiative, and we look forward to seeing their employees succeed at our institution.”
The scholarship is open to 2021 high school graduates who are starting entry-level positions at CMI. Graduates would work with Julia Smith, CMI’s Organizational Development Manager, to design an avenue for them to explore career options through courses and training at Cayuga. Smith has an extensive background in technical education and workforce development.
Smith said the scholarship is particularly valuable for new employees who are graduating high school with limited work experience.
“We are interested in exploring initiatives that support our employees and hopefully eliminate some of the confusion that can come with graduating high school and not being sure where to go next. We must strive to challenge the age-old strategies and meet this generation where they are at,” said Smith. “This helps employees gain work experience and improve their skills while they identify their next academic step.”
CMI and Cayuga have a strong history of working together to support workforce opportunities. Previously the College helped create apprenticeships in processing facilities and agricultural businesses. CMI is currently developing a second apprenticeship pathway aligned with this model.