LaGuardia Community College Gets $116M Grant From N.Y. Mets Owners’ Foundation

The donation will fund a new workforce training facility for students to earn associate degrees and other certificates and credentials needed for work in high-demand sectors in New York City.
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  • LaGuardia Community College has received a grant from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, led by New York Mets owner Alex Cohen.
  • The $116.2 million grant will fund the Cohen Career Collective, a workforce training center that will provide education and training programs for students in New York City.
  • The donation is the largest-ever gift to the City University of New York system.

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation, led by New York Mets owner Alex Cohen, donated $116.2 million to LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC) to build a new workforce training center.

The Cohen Career Collective will offer education and training programs required for students to earn associate degrees, industry certifications, and other credentials that are valuable when pursuing a career in New York City.

The programs will focus on preparing students for high-demand sectors including healthcare, construction, technology, culinary and hospitality, green jobs, and film and television, according to a press release from LAGCC.

"Alex Cohen is passionate about making quality, affordable workforce training available to low-income New Yorkers who want to learn new skills, get good jobs, and provide for their families," Kenneth Adams, LAGCC president, said in the release.

"We are truly honored that she turned to LaGuardia to bring her vision to life through the creation of the Cohen Career Collective."

The donation is the largest ever in the history of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, the nation's largest urban public university network.

"This historic $116.2 million investment multiplies CUNY's role as an engine of upward mobility and doubles down on our commitment to giving students the tools they need to meet the demands of the changing workforce," CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said in the release.

The 160,000-square-foot facility will include specialized shops, labs, and classrooms for hands-on instruction and training, according to the release, along with student meeting rooms, study rooms, and computer labs.

Additionally, the center will offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and high school equivalency classes. It will also house LaGuardia's Summer Youth Employment Program.

"I wanted to create a place where students have access to high-quality programs and facilities and can learn the skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world," Cohen said in the release. "Our goal is to make a positive difference in people's lives."

LAGCC expects construction to be finished by January 2029.