New York Governor Andrew Cuomo arrived at the Charles B. Wang Center on Thursday, Feb. 28, to speak to constituents about his proposed budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year as well as the topics covered in his State of the State address from January.
Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley introduced some of the issues Gov. Cuomo would later cover saying, “it is fate that the governor chose to visit Stony Brook to talk about this plan. Education is the engine in growing the economy and the SUNY system and our university play a major role in this state. We are educating and preparing our students to join the workforce.”
Governor Cuomo took the stage at 2 p.m. and called Stony Brook “such a great gem for the SUNY system.”
“In so many ways the challenges that the state faces are being addressed here at Stony Brook,” Cuomo said.
He then outlined his plans for the state in a presentation titled “New York Rising,” including education reforms, which focused on aiding students of all ages around the state. “We are not educating all of our children to the fullest,” he said. “Some are getting a world-class and some children are being left behind and that’s the truth. And we’re better than that.”
Cuomo proposed keeping primary and secondary school students in the classroom longer by either extending school days or school years, in order to better prepare New York children to globally compete for jobs. “I understand that this change is hard, and I understand that this is a big one but I think we should move in this direction. I’ll leave it to the local school districts as to how they want to do it.”
He also explained the idea of creating a “tech-transfer challenge.” “Stony Brook has some very high examples in this regard [to the tech transfer]. When you look at the economies that are doing well in this country, or around the world for that matter, the basic common denominators are these new high tech ideas that are basically coming out of academic institutions of higher learning,” he said.
“It’s the next cell phone, the next chip, it’s the next circuit board, the next brilliant idea that comes out of an academic institution that then becomes commercialized. They call that the tech-transfer, when you transfer the technology to the commercial sphere.”
Cuomo also promoted reform in job training. “A generic job training program does not work anymore,” according to a PowerPoint presentation given by the governor. “We will create the Next Generation New York job linkage program. It will work with employers to identify the job, to define the skill and to provide the training for it.” He also proposed raising the minimum wage to $8.75.
“The best thing we can do is provide great career paths for young people,” he said.