The Start-Up NY program is a public policy system designed to create “tax free” business zones to help facilitate economic growth and provide industry services to some neighborhoods. Under this policy, Onondaga Community College (OCC) has declared four vacant parcels of land to allow partnerships to locate on and collaborate with the college, in order to create a new curriculum and hands on education opportunities for students. OCC specifically intends to make use of its partnership with businesses in the food processing and service industries.
OCC already has strong culinary, hospitality, and manufacturing curriculum, making food processing a highlight for future programs. Partnerships under the Start-Up NY policy must function as both businesses and educational tools on college campuses. One possible finalized plan being considered would involve yogurt production on campus, in order to help teach students about formula creation and other food processing aspects.
OCC has also received a U.S. Labor Department Grant, meaning if they create curriculum focused on serving and working with the community, they receive further incentivisation. SUNY Morrisville is collaborating with them on this grant. Morrisville is in an agricultural county, and when students would like to learn more about the agricultural industry, they may be enrolled in a program at Morrisville to earn credits. OCC will likely not grow food on its own campus, because it is located on shale, but OCC’s outreach to another community college helps broaden the opportunities for students looking to learn about the food system.