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Cannoneers add esports to JCC athletic offerings with renovated arena

in Entertainment 200 views

WATERTOWN — Sanctioned by the National Junior College Athletic Association in early 2022, esports has come to Jefferson Community College as its newest competitive collegiate team sport.

In preparation for the fall semester’s inaugural teams, the college showed off its newly renovated esports arena Thursday: a custom, wall-to-wall branded arena on the top floor of the Jules Center that features gaming stations, aerodynamic gaming chairs, three 70-inch TV monitors and Alienware software. Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees had the chance to see gamers in action while college representatives provided tours of the arena and shared information on the upcoming esports season.

“Today’s a special day on campus to embark on a new adventure with esports,” said Daniel J. Dupee II, JCC’s administrator in charge. “Jefferson’s strategic plan is centered around four pillars, and with one of those being the student experience, introducing an esports program is focused squarely on enhancing the student experience here at Jefferson.”

Students can battle with the Cannoneers and earn college credits playing games like NBA 2K, Call of Duty, FIFA 21, Fortnite, Madden NFL 21, Overwatch, Valorant and more in the new arena.

According to Mr. Dupee, because JCC did this renovation internally with facility staff, the college ended up putting about $65,000 into the arena for carpeting, painting, graphics on the walls, the countertops and other cosmetic details. The big expense was the gaming equipment, which he said involved a roughly $4,500 a setup. The renovation took about four months.

“I think this is a great opportunity for the campus to engage with our students more, and I think it’s a great opportunity for our students to engage with one another more,” Mr. Dupee said.

He said the college is looking at possibly allowing the community to utilize the space in various ways — a school district wanting to start an esports team, for example, could use the space for that purpose.

Jeff Wiley, director of athletics, said esports is the fastest growing sport within the NCAA and the NJCAA. Before the COVID-19 pandemic started, he toured a college that, at the time, had one of the best esports programs and facilities in the NCAA. He noted that he also attended numerous webinars and conferences, and with his own research and collaboration with colleges, helped put together a proposal for esports to come to the JCC campus.

“In fall ’22, we’ll be competing in the NJCAA esports leagues with games like FIFA, Hearthstone, Madden, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, Rocket League, Super Smash Brothers and Valorant in one of the best facilities — if not the best — among two-year colleges; it’s phenomenal,” he said.

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JCC and partners collaborate to help fill workforce need for truck drivers

in Local News 329 views

WATERTOWN — This fall, in collaboration with the North Country Workforce Development Institute and Lewis County, Jefferson Community College partnered with the National Tractor Trailer School to offer free hands-on training to prepare five students to take the nationally recognized commercial driver’s license Class A exam.

The three-part exam includes a knowledge test, endorsement knowledge test and a driving skills test. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for tractor-trailer truck drivers is expected to grow more than 6% through the year 2030 due to recovery from the COVID-19 recession and the elevated need for truck drivers as households and businesses increase their spending online.

“It is an honor for Jefferson to collaborate with Lewis County, NCWDI and NTTS to devise a solution that helps put people to work and simultaneously meets a gap in the workforce,” Dr. Megan A. Stadler, associate vice president of strategic initiatives at JCC, said in a statement. “The College is listening to employers and will continue to develop partnerships and programs to serve the north country.”

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Highlights & scores: men’s basketball from JCC

in School/Sports 439 views

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) – The Jefferson Community College men’s basketball team had a home game Tuesday night against Paul Smith’s.

Head coach Joe Vaadi was looking for his team to improve on its 3-6 record against a talented Paul Smith’s team.

George Browning gets the visitors off and running with the baseline jay.

Isiah Murphy answers for Jefferson with the move down the lane for the basket.

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