Access to Opportunity

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To support the needs of a diverse community in relation to new job opportunities that are being created through Oneida County’s economic development efforts.

Committee Chair: Tony Colon, President, TECHNO-LOGIC SOLUTIONS, INC.


Madeline Barlow, Utica MHA, Human Resources Director
Chip Bassett, Oneida County, Principal Planner
Sam Berardino, Morgan Stanley, Financial Advisor
Kelly Blazosky, Oneida County Tourism, President
Patrice Bogan, Oneida County, Deputy Director of Health
Shelly Callahan, MVRCR, Executive Director
Sandy DePerno, Oneida County, Oneida County Clerk
Michael Donaghue, Boy Scouts of America, Executive & CEO
Phyllis Ellis, Oneida County, Health Director
Sonny Greco, City of Utica, Chief of Staff
Dietra Harvey, NAACP, Chair Utica
Robert Maciol, Oneida County Sheriff, Oneida County Sheriff
Sonia Martinez, Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Chairwoman
Pamela Matt, Utica Area Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director
Jackie Nelson, Rome Community
Morris Pearson, MVCC, Director, Civic Responsibilities
Jawwaad Rasheed, Oneida County Family Court, Support Magistrate
Mickey Smith, Utica Adult Learning Center, Manager
Ken Tompkins, Empire State Development, Regional Director
Deborah Wilson-Allam, Utica College, Intensive English Language Program

Click Here for PDF of the Vision 2020 Progress Report

With so many critical issues to address, the Access to Opportunity committee has broken its mission down into three critical areas: business and economic development, English learner pathways, and cultural offerings and resources.

2014-2015 Highlights:

  • Compiled current foreign-born unemployment data by year of arrival race/ethnicity and current education level and/or skills, and projected occupational titles for 2020 by education level requirement to identify needed training and education
  • Developed comprehensive ESL provider and translation service provider databases
  • Formalized and expanded the Alignment of Pathways and Programs for Learners of English (APPLE), an alternative high school program for 17-and 18-year- old refugee and immigrant students that is designed to help these students learn the language, graduate and get a job or go to college
  • Developed a plan to support economic development efforts by leveraging our cultural assets

2016 Action Items:

  • Create job opportunity mentors to increase awareness of regional job opportunities
  • Develop pathways to seamlessly transition students from ESL to college or the workforce
  • Create a vision and plan for the development of a virtual and/or tangible Welcome Center to address the needs of our current and new workforce

Access to Opportunity Housing Workforce & Education