January 31, 2020

SUNY Empire State College Partners with Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties to Help Employees Earn Degrees

Partnership Expands Workforce Development Investment on Long Island

Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties currently boasts 60,000 members representing 37 unions

State-of-the-Art Campus in Selden and New Learning Hub in Garden City Provide Greater Access to SUNY Empire Programs


(SELDEN, New York – Jan. 31, 2020) SUNY Empire State College announced a new partnership yesterday with Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, an affiliate of North American Building Trade Unions (AFL-CIO), to help its employees and members advance their careers with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

The new agreement helps lower the cost and time needed to complete a degree by awarding college credit for employees’ prior professional learning. SUNY Empire also will waive the registration fee and award a $100 presidential scholarship to employees, members, retirees, and household family members.

Following this new partnership signing, SUNY Empire celebrated the opening of a new learning hub in Garden City, offering enhanced amenities and greater accessibility to meet the needs of students and faculty. Last fall, SUNY Empire opened its 6.6-acre campus in Selden, which was built to high standards for environmental sustainability. The cutting-edge learning facility boasts public nature trails that connect to Suffolk County’s hiking and biking trails, and is equipped to host performing arts events.

The Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties currently boasts 60,000 members representing 37 unions - all of whom will now have increased access to a SUNY Empire degree.

This new partnership will help meet expanding workforce demand in the skilled trades driven by large-scale infrastructure development on Long Island, including the $1.5 billion Nassau Hub project and the $1.3 billion Belmont arena.

“There are so many hard-working Long Islanders employed by Building and Construction Trades Council and it is privilege to create a path that provides them with the opportunity to attend SUNY Empire,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “Mr. Aracich and his team are truly revitalizing the Nassau and Suffolk communities, and we are all benefiting from their good work. SUNY Empire strives to meet students where they are and collaborate with community partners to provide educational solutions that lead to career success. This partnership will help Long Islanders develop the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of tomorrow.” 

“SUNY Empire State College and President Malatras have developed such innovative areas of study, with a true focus on collaboration and community,” said Matthew Aracich, president of Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties. “This partnership has created an incredible opportunity for so many to return to college and I expect we’ll see a good number do just that.”  

“Thank you to President Malatras and Mr. Aracich for developing such a comprehensive initiative that will impact so many,” said Lynne Dodson, associate dean of the SUNY Empire Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor. “We have so many high-quality labor studies degree program options, and our faculty and staff are truly looking forward to serving members of Building and Construction Trades Council.” 

SUNY Empire currently serves 2,500 students across Long Island. Students living within Nassau and Suffolk counties have the option of completing their degrees entirely online, onsite at one of SUNY Empire's more than 30 campuses and learning hubs, or through a combination of both. 

See photos from the event here.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates students at any stage of life with a personalized learning experience delivered online, in person, or a blend of both. Since 1971, SUNY Empire has empowered students to earn an accredited degree around the demands of a busy lifestyle to advance their personal and professional goals. With world-class faculty, more than 1,300 dedicated mentors to help students tailor their degree programs, and cutting-edge distance learning technology, SUNY Empire delivers a trusted and flexible online college experience grounded in more than 30 New York state locations and seven international sites where students can learn and collaborate in person. Our nearly 50 years as a leader in awarding credit for prior learning and life experience helps students earn a degree faster and at lower cost. To learn more, visit www.esc.edu and follow @SUNYEmpire. 

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