U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called for federal funding to make Monroe Community College a top photonics training center. Schumer launched his push to secure over $500,000 for MCC through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Advanced Technology Foundation’s Education program. The funding would allow MCC to expand its optics and photonics degree programs and purchase new equipment, as well as develop a new curriculum and expand student outreach. Schumer said that MCC is currently the only community college in the U.S. with an optics and photonics associate's degree program, and it's looking to become a major training center. He hopes the school will ultimately become the Northeast Regional Center for Optics & Photonics, but said federal funding is needed to begin the expansion process. “MCC is a proven leader in optics and photonics training, and we have an opportunity here to build on that success by creating a top-notch training center that will prepare Upstate New Yorkers for good-paying, middle-class jobs in this burgeoning field,” Schumer said.