Assemblyman Billy Jones to speak at Commencement

May 9, 2023

SARANAC LAKE – New York State Assemblyman Billy Jones will be the featured speaker as North Country Community College celebrates the Class of 2023 at the college’s 56th Commencement ceremony. 

Commencement will take place Saturday, May 20 in the Sparks Athletic Complex Gymnasium on the college’s Saranac Lake campus. The processional begins at 10:45 a.m., and the program will begin promptly at 11 a.m. The public is welcome to attend.   

Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake) has been an ardent supporter of the college during his career in local politics and throughout his tenure in the state Assembly. Last fall, he secured $250,000 in state funding to help upgrade the college’s science labs, a project scheduled to begin this summer.  

“We are thrilled to have Assemblyman Jones as our Commencement Speaker this year,” said North Country Community College President Joe Keegan. “He has been a strong advocate of college, as well as higher education in general. As a son of the North Country and one that has worked hard to be where he is, the Assemblyman understands and can directly relate to our students and their aspirations. His personal story is one that will surely resonate with our students.”  

“College graduation is such an important moment, and I am incredibly honored to be this year’s commencement speaker,” said Assemblyman Jones. “I look forward to joining all the graduates and the college community in celebrating their achievements and recognizing the hard work it takes to cross the stage and finally receive your diploma.” 

Assemblyman Billy Jones was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 2016 to represent the 115th Assembly District, which is comprised of Clinton, Franklin, and Essex counties. 

Before his election to the State Assembly, Assemblyman Jones had several different roles. After graduating high school, he managed his family’s dairy farm and worked for the New York State Department of Corrections from 1996 until 2016. In 2009, Jones was elected the mayor of Chateaugay and became a Franklin County legislator in 2010. He continued to serve as Chateaugay’s mayor until he became the chairman of the Franklin County legislature in 2013. During his tenure, Jones successfully reformed ethics laws to make government more transparent. 

Assemblyman Jones is an active member of his community, and he is involved with various organizations throughout the North Country. For example, Jones is a member of the Chateaugay Rotary Club and serves as a board member of the United Way of the Adirondack Region. He is also a member of the North Country Economic Development Council, through which he supported several projects to support local businesses and grow the region’s economy. 

Assemblyman Jones remains highly engaged with issues related to the Canada-U.S. border, and he serves as the honorary co-chair of the Québec-New York Corridor and the co-chair of the Council of State Government East’s Canada-U.S. Committee. Most recently, Assemblyman Jones was named the chair of the Task Force on New York-Canada Relations. 

In the Assembly, Jones is a member of several committees including the Committees of Aging, Agriculture, Economic Development, Small Business, Tourism, and Veterans’ Affairs. Assemblyman Jones also serves as the chair of the Subcommittee on Agriculture Economic Development and Farmland Protection. 

Since his election in 2016, Assemblyman Jones has introduced and passed several pieces of legislation to benefit the North Country including the Randy Preston Adirondack Road Salt Task Force bill and the Aquatic Invasive Species bill. During the 2022 legislative session, Assemblyman Jones was able to author and pass the EMS Cost Recovery Act, a game-changing piece of legislation that was impeded for decades. Jones continues to put the North Country first by prioritizing education, rural healthcare, economic development, small businesses, and tourism. 

For more information on the college’s Commencement ceremony, including details on parking, visit