RMSC receives funding from Monroe County for career program

[anvplayer video=”5043142″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — On Wednesday, the Rochester Museum and Science Center announced that it has received funding from Monroe County to expand its Career Ladder program.

In its 10-year history, the Career Ladder program has helped more than 65 students get their starts in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

County Executive Adam Bello joined RMSC President and CEO Hillary Olson at a press conference on Wednesday.

"The Career Ladder program at the Rochester Museum and Science Center was established in 2011 for local high school students to develop critical work skills by providing long-term, on-the-job training in a positive and supporting environment," Olson said.

One of those students is Aisha Lopez, a sophomore at Monroe Community College who hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. Lopez says her time in the program has helped her grow both professionally and personally.

"When I first joined, I wasn’t really… I was pretty much anti-social, I didn’t like being around people or kids," Lopez said.

Two years later, and she says she wouldn’t trade her experience at RMSC for anything.

"This is like, one of my first jobs that I ever had and the best experience I have had so far, like I would not give up this job for like anything else," Lopez said.

The jobs available through the program are very hands-on, and often involve working with children. As part of her job, Lopez leads chemistry and 3D printing demonstrations for kids.

The program aims particularly to offer job opportunities to young people from under-served communities. The museum and STEM fields have historically lacked in diversity, and the Career Ladder program aims to change that.

Travis Hughes oversees the program, and News10NBC asked him about the application criteria.

"Applicants have to be between the ages of 16 and 22, and at least have an interest in the museum field, the stem field, education, customer service, informal education,” said Hughes. “It’s no longer a requirement to be a student."

Anyone interested in applying can do so here.