As part of a continuing goal to expand the college’s advanced manufacturing program, Lang Hall will see a neighboring building constructed by summer 2018: the Gene F. Haas Technology Center.
With construction set to begin in April 2017, Hudson Valley has already received several generous contributions towards the planned building. Currently, the college has raised over $2.6 million toward its $3.25 million fundraising goal.
According to Eric Bryant, assistant director of communications and marketing, “The initial donor was the Gene Haas Foundation. They made an initial matching donation of $1 million.”
Additionally, the college’s foundation has already pledged $1.8 million, not including an additional $1 million in state funds awarded through the Capital Region Economic Development Council.
“They’re currently reaching out to the manufacturing community locally and across the state because those are the entities that really will benefit from an expansion of this center,” said Bryant.
Even local businesses have made contributions towards this project, including Albany-based Simmons Machine Tool Corporation, which has donated $125,000 towards the Haas building.
The Gene Haas building will help improve the advanced manufacturing program in several ways. Student capacity will be doubled, increasing it from 144 to 288 available seats. The new technology introduced will also boost productivity.
According to Bryant, the Haas building will be, “a state-of-the-art facility, so these young people coming into the program will be working on the latest equipment that’s available out there for advanced manufacturing.”
Such planned equipment includes 122 CAD/CAM/Simulation computer workstations, 14 CNC machine tools, 30 manual machine tools, two CMMs with an articulating-arm type CMM, a Metrology Light Scanner, a Robotic cell, two large 3D Printers, a Laser Cutter/Engraver and metallurgy equipment.
The building will also bring with it several EM Maintenance Trainers, partner offices, three 34-seat classrooms that can be used as a multi-purpose room, a storeroom, two EDMs and teleconferencing capabilities.
Students currently enrolled in the advanced manufacturing program recognize the advantages that the Gene Haas building will bring to the advanced manufacturing program.
“There will be a lot of improvements to the existing problems we have,” said Mike Dygon, an advanced manufacturing student
“We are squished for space here. There’s really no room for a toolbox. It will make it easier for [students] to transfer into the actual industry by using the new machines,” said Chuck Ruzycky, another advanced manufacturing student.
Many believe that student interest will grow when the Gene Haas building is completed. “It should because the industry is really low on machinists right now. The industry is starving for skilled machinists,” said Mark Gottzman, advanced manufacturing student.
With an increased demand in manufacturing jobs, the need for skilled employees is present. The completion of the Gene Haas Technology Center will play a significant role in releasing capable students into the workforce.