University Center for Academic and Workforce Development


The mission of the University Center for Academic and Workforce Development (UCAWD) is to promote the social and economic well being of the academically and economically underserved residents of the State of New York by developing and maintaining quality academic and workforce training programs and services.

This mission is achieved through collaborative efforts with state, municipal and county agencies, secondary and post-secondary institutions, community based organizations, and business and industry.  Access to post-secondary education, gainful employment, and economic development in local communities is central to this effort.


One of the major components of SUNY’s strategic initiative is to ensure that students in New York State are able to successfully navigate the education pipeline.  For various reasons, some students are unable to remain in the pipeline.  The UCAWD assists those students who are sixteen years and older to re-enter the educational mainstream to pursue their education and career goals.

The UCAWD provides access to tuition-free, high quality education and employment training services through the statewide system of Educational Opportunity Centers (EOCs).  As post-secondary institutions, EOCs focus on adult, non-traditional students who are academically under-prepared and financially disadvantaged.  The EOC system is comprised of ten EOCs and two Counseling and Outreach Centers located in urban population areas across New York State.  The EOC academic and vocational program offerings promote self-sufficiency, provide intergenerational learning opportunities and support local community development initiatives.  Each EOC focuses on the education and training needs of its region and local community.

The EOCs’ capacity to serve special populations is enhanced by the following programs:

The Bridge program provides high quality education and training programs for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and the 200% of poverty population.  Bridge also supports local workforce development through customized program development for local businesses and industry.

Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) is a network of 38 technology labs that promote digital parity and inclusion for all eligible New Yorkers.  ATTAIN provides participants access to computer-based, individualized academic and workforce development training.

The UCAWD’s Jobs for Youth Apprenticeship Program, located in Brooklyn, New York, prepares “at-risk” economically disadvantaged in-school and out-of-school youth for entry into skilled occupations, apprenticeship or post-secondary education.

To further extend capacity, UCAWD has established two corporate partnerships to provide a broader range of services to students through the following programs:

Financing Your Independence (FYI) provides financial literacy education to academically under-prepared, low-income students at EOCs and to interested residents in the surrounding communities.  This program is largely made possible through support from Citi Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Citigroup.

Microsoft IT Academies exist at 37 locations across the state.  The IT Academies prepare individuals who have histories of chronic unemployment and under-employment to enter Information Technology careers.  This is accomplished through Microsoft’s Digital Literacy and Unlimited Potential Community Learning curricula.  This effort is made possible through support from the Microsoft Corporation.

Please visit the University Center for Academic and Workforce Development website for additional information.