About 40 Rochester-area academic and business leaders said New York optics, photonics, and tool and machining companies can't find enough skilled workers and asked State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor John Ryan for help at a meeting Thursday at Monroe Community College (MCC), the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported today. The stop was part of a statewide economic development "listening tour." The group said New York's colleges and universities can do a better job of meeting the work force needs of the small and medium-sized businesses that increasingly are driving the state's economy. Many of the affected companies have worked with MCC to boost participation in degree and training programs, the article said. Ryan, Empire State Development Upstate Chairman Daniel Gundersen and several other officials said the state and its schools must do a better job of meeting the demands of small, specialized manufacturers. Ryan said he is working to increase the commercialization of technologies developed at state schools. "For every $1 million invested, the state estimates, 29 jobs are created," he said. He also said the success of SUNY at Albany's nanoscience program needs to be replicated elsewhere in the state.