Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation Awards $116 Million Grant to Create the Cohen Career Collective

Dear LaGuardia Community –

I am pleased to share some very exciting news. Today we announced a major new grant for LaGuardia. The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation has made an incredibly generous gift to the college in the amount of $116,230,000. This is the largest grant in CUNY history; it is also the largest grant ever to a community college in the US.

This extraordinary gift, which has been made to the LaGuardia Foundation, will support the construction of a state-of-the-art center for career and technical education and training on two empty floors of our “C” Building (Floors 5 and 6).  The 180,000 square-foot facility will be called the Cohen Career Collective.  It 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.

Education and training programs at the Cohen Career Collective will lead to associate degrees, industry certifications, and other credentials valued by employers in high-demand sectors of the NYC economy, including Healthcare, Construction, Technology, Culinary & Hospitality, Green Jobs, Film and Television, and more.  In addition to career and technical training, the facility will provide classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), as well as classes to help students obtain their GEDs.

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

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.

I am extremely grateful to Shahir Erfan, SVP of Administration and Finance, Ken Campanelli, Executive Director of Facilities Management and Planning, Ruben Mercier, Director of the Office of Campus Facilities,  Laura Bartovics, Senior Director of Grants and Sponsored Programs, and Jay Golan, Executive Director of the LaGuardia Foundation, for their support over many months as we worked to secure this incredible and extremely generous gift for LaGuardia Community College and the people of Queens.

Best wishes,
Kenneth Adams