If you're looking for a high-tech career but need job training, you may want to consider classes at your local community college.
The federal government just gave the SUNY system a $14.6 million grant to improve training and education in manufacturing.
From sanding, to high-tech machining, Monroe Community College trains students for the high tech jobs of the future.
James Ely is one of those students.
After 8 years without steady employment, he headed back to this HVAC lab to start a new career.
He said "I'm looking forward to getting out there and being able to do some of the things I learned here."
Starting next month, MCC will manage a $14.6 million grant from the federal government.
U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis stopped by to see how the money will be spent.
The grant will focus on getting veterans and the unemployed back to work through the Training and Education in Advanced Manufacturing or TEAM program on 30 SUNY community college campuses.
"Each one of us looks at the needs around advanced manufacturing," said MCC President Anne Kress. "In some cases it involves optics like at MCC...in the Capitol Region it might involve Nanotech. Each area implements the programs locally, so we can add up those numbers to serve 3 thousand folks across New York State."
The demand for those workers is there. An estimated 50,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled statewide, according to Rep. Louise Slaughter. She said "Companies across our region (and we hear it in our office all the time), struggle to find workers who have the training needed to operate in modern manufacturing plants."
Secretary Solis added "For the vast majority of our population not everyone is going to a 4 year university. So, why not encourage investments at a community college to get a 6 month a year or 2 year certificate."
That certificate is Ely's goal. He's studying for one in solar thermal engineering.
He said "I think it's really important and it's an emerging industry, it's moving very quickly. I'd like to be a part of that."
His first step? An internship interview at a well-known local company on Monday afternoon.
As well as improving training, the grant has another component.
It allows administrators to monitor the program's progress, so they can report back to taxpayers on how all those millions are being spent.