BCC’s Maddy Centeno Works Passionately to Expand Workforce Development Programs & Trainings

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BCC’s Maddy Centeno -car selfie

For the past five years, BCC’s Maddy Centeno has been working tirelessly on developing new Workforce programs and trainings to build up the College’s portfolio of certifications and expand opportunities for students. In January, a new crop of students began six months of training for plumbing certification, and other trainings are underway for students working on obtaining certifications in electricity and carpentry.

“We’re pleased to have many grants supporting tuition and registration fees,” Centeno said. “You can’t get any lower than a $20 registration fee, for something that would cost at anywhere else $1,500-$2,000.”

Recently, thanks to the dedicated work of Centeno, BCC’s Department of Workforce Development and Continuing Education received an award from its partner, Building Skills New York (BSNY), which recognized BCC for its trainings, internships and employment opportunities it has been offering to students entering construction jobs. In addition to the building trades, BCC offers low-cost training for jobs in Computer Technology, Healthcare, Early Childhood Education, Food Safety, EMT and more.

Centeno said she will be working closely with the Office of Academic Affairs to help ensure that students enrolled in BCC’s Workforce Development courses understand career pathways available through degree program and earn credit for work completed either at BCC or another college.

“We are getting our stride back since the pandemic. We just need to let people know we are here and what we offer,” Centeno adds with a smile.

Meet some of BCC’s Workforce Grads!

Child Development Associate (CDA) student Ingrid Z. Ulloa Lora

Ingrid Z. Ulloa Lora works as a childcare provider. She enrolled in BCC’s Workforce Development & Continuing Education in Fall 2019-Winter 2020 as a CDA student. “Thanks to the CDA class, I am a more confident person,” she said. “I have improved my communication skills and learned to better manage my business, which has grown and prospered.”

Pharmacy Technician student Frederick Hernandez

Frederick Hernandez was a student in Bronx Community College’s Workforce Development Pharmacy Technician training during the Spring 2023 semester. After completing the class, he took the Pharmacy Technician exam and was certified in September, 2023. He is currently working at a Pharmacy in Yonkers and is waiting for a call back from a hospital in the neighborhood.

Plumbing Training Student Tyshawn Farrell

Tyshawn Farrell currently works two jobs while attending BCC’s plumbing course three nights per week. He came to BCC’s Department of Workforce Development and Continuing Education via BCC’s Department of Labor partnership with Strive International. Strive works within low-income communities, communities of color, as well as with members of the community who have had issues with the law to provide employment readiness and trainings. Aside from the plumbing course, Farrell also has taken and successfully completed the 10-hour Site Safety Training, 30-hour OSHA training, and NCCER (National Center for Construction Education and Research) Core training and has been awarded national certifications.

“Farrell is the epitome of hard-work, diligence, and perseverance. He continues to engage in BCC’s various construction trainings in an effort to grow and develop his knowledge and skillset for the purpose of acquiring better employment, financial stability, and upward mobility,” Centeno said.

Just In! Film Production Grip Student Pablo Blanco to Join Set of NBC-TV’s “Law and Order”

Pablo Blanco registered for the Film Production Grip training through BCC’s Office of Workforce Development and Continuing Education in Spring, 2023. With funding from Empire State Development, he received expert training on how to work on a film set, concepts of lighting and construction grip. Pablo also participated in additional training, such as OSHA 10, and received his scissor lift certification allowing him to work on a film set. News of this training has led Netflix to hire many film production students to work on comedy shows. A partnership with NBC Universal also has been established; as a result, Pablo was offered a four-month grip position to work on the set of “Law and Order” with a starting hourly rate of $23.50, opening the door for Pablo to continue to work in the film industry.


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