Our Blog

Workforce Spotlight – Meet Laraine Kautz, Workforce Development Liaison at Dutchess Community College

Post: Jul. 22, 2020


For nearly 30 years The Council of Industry and Dutchess Community College have partnered to raise the skills of manufacturing workers in Dutchess County and throughout the Hudson Valley.  Today that collaboration includes supervisor and leadership training, lean six sigma training, and related instruction for MIAP apprentices.  Today the individual at DCC behind this collaboration is Laraine Kautz, Workforce Development Liaison.

One of Laraine’s key responsibilities is to partner with industry to identify and develop customized training programs.  She also helps businesses access state-level grants to support that training.  Laraine is instrumental in creating the non-credit and apprentice programs to support the needs of the current and future Hudson Valley workforce.

Under Laraine’s guidance DCC offers industry driven certification programs, long and short-term credit trainings and quick turnaround training classes. They also help companies address immediate workforce needs through stackable micro-credentials, that sometimes lead to nationally recognized credentials. Classes can be accelerated or hybrid depending on the needs of the company or industry.

The college has long supported manufacturing in the region with both credit and non-credit programs.  On the credit side DCC’s offers an AAS Degree in Electrical Technology, and an AS degree in Electrical Engineering Technology in addition to other STEM, General Business, Marketing, and other degrees.  On the non-credit side the college offers programs in quality and lean, leadership and supervision, GD&T, Blueprint reading and much more!  Many of these offering work for Apprentices doing their related instruction. (Should We link to RI)

Laraine is proud of the relationship between Dutchess Community College and the Council of Industry, pointing to the success of the Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership Program which has seen hundreds of graduates develop into effective leaders at their companies.  “We work together to customize a unique training that doesn’t exist anywhere. Our local manufacturers can send their employees to this training to help strengthen their leadership skills,” Kautz excitedly stated.

In fact, The Certificate in Manufacturing Leadership is a great example of how a partnership between the college and industry can work.  The program is constantly changing, with the of help Laraine and her predecessors, to meet the evolving needs of industry.  The next evolution is a remote learning option in addition to the classroom setting.

Larraine is excited about what is next for manufacturing workforce development.  She is working with several “great” manufacturers to re-invent manufacturing non-credit programming and to get their feedback on how to transition some of them into credit-bearing programs so participants can more smoothly work toward their Associates Degree. She is proud to state that DCC has been approved as a related instruction provider and is eager to begin the enrollment of individuals in existing courses.

Prior to her liaison position, Laraine worked for The Dutchess County Workforce Investment Board. She began her career there as their Deputy Director and ended her time there as Executive Director. Laraine achieved her first position at Dutchess Community College was a Career Coach & Perkins Program Coordinator before moving to the Workforce Development Liaison.  She attended Seton Hall University for her Strategic Leadership and Communication master’s degree.

Kautz credits her education and prior experience to her current position in learning to connect the dots for those who have confusion of what a job role entails. She finds fulfillment in being the bridge between the workforce and the individual. In example, she helps job seekers who may deter from job applications due to description verbiage or areas of skill such as “problem-solving,” but also helps articulate the skills that employers and the academic world want and creates those pathways more.

If you have any questions or are interested in Dutchess County’s Workforce Development programs, you may contact Laraine Kautz at laraine.kautz@sunydutchess.edu.