Food Tech Careers Made in NYS With Delicious Benefits

Interested in a Fall Scholarship at GCC for One of the Region’s Hottest New Career Opportunities?

by Annette Pinder

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When Genesee Community College (GCC) surveyed local employers as to the skills required to fulfill their job openings, an overwhelming number talked about food processing technology. It prompted GCC curriculum planners to accommodate the need by creating wonderful opportunities to students, including scholarships and free tuition for the first class.

food tech careers made in NYS with delicious benefits

According to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, the Buffalo Niagara region is the top area in the entire country for the food and food processing industry cluster, with the highest employment concentration out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the nation. Over 1200 food and food processing industries are located in Western New York, including Rich Products, Freezer Queen, Friendship, General Mills, Perry’s, Tyson, Sorrento, General Mills, Nestle Purina, Battistoni Meats, Bryne Dairy, Costanzo’s Bakery, CSM Baking Solutions and Myer Brothers. The recent opening of new yogurt plants in Genesee County further empowers the region’s robust food processing profession.

GCC’s Food Processing Technology (FPT) Associate in Applied Science degree allows students to take advantage of this growing industry preparing them for newly created jobs. Coursework covers basic principles of food science, including the chemical, physical and microbiological properties of food, and the technology required to create an abundant supply of safe, nutritious and delicious food supplies. In addition to classroom lectures and science laboratory experiments, students complete a related internship, furthering their opportunity for permanent employment.

To make the program even more attractive, students can take all of the general education requirements of the FPT program online. And this fall GCC is offering a scholarship allowing students to take the first course (FPT101) tuition-free, available Mondays from 9:30 am to 12:15 pm or Thursdays from 4:00 pm to 6:45 pm, beginning September 21.

“Food processing is a fast-growing industry, offering hundreds of exciting, well-paid positions in our region,” says GCC’s Admissions Director Tanya Lane-Martin. Lane-Martin encourages students to apply for the free tuition scholarship by writing a sentence or two about what interests them most about a career in food processing, and emailing it to her at tmlanemartin@genesee.edu.

Greg Sharpe, FPC instructor, says, “GCC’s food processing technology program is the only one of its kind offered at any of SUNY’s 30 community colleges. The college’s strong partnerships with Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension will help students gain the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary for career success. Not only has GCC’s FPT 2-year program been awarded a highly competitive SUNY needs grant for upgraded laboratories, but the college’s seven campus locations in Albion, Arcade, Batavia, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw create the opportunity for many internship and career connections. Graduates will be well-trained to become storage specialists, regulatory, safety, logistics, transport, and packaging specialists, as well as plant operations managers, quality control technicians, account representatives, and production supervisors. Graduates can expect to earn from $30,000 to $100,000 per year.

Learn more about this unique opportunity at and how you can obtain a full tuition scholarship for the first course by calling Tanya Lane-Martin at 585-345-6800 or Greg Sharpe at 585-343-0055 ext. 6157. Learn more and download a brochure at http://www.genesee.edu/academics/programs/tech/food.