New $14.5 million building set to double tech program enrollment

Anthony O’Connell
News Editor
CAMS Renderings 13

Hudson Valley projects enrollment within the Advanced Manufacturing Technology program to double due to the construction of the new $14.5 million Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills.

Also referred to as CAMS, the building will be constructed along South Road and be completed by summer 2019.

The second floor of CAMS will feature an overlook into the senior lab, a Computer-aided design cam simulation room with 35 seats, conference and faculty rooms and three classrooms with collapsing walls that turn into multipurpose rooms.

Hudson Valley is the only community college within 125 miles that trains machinists and programmers. CAMS will supply the additional lab space and equipment necessary to serve more students.

The college is also in the process of developing a new program called operations management technology to go along with the new building. This program will prepare students for technically related jobs in management, sales, marketing, procurement and more.

“We’re going to bring in two or four-year graduates and give them a one year certificate, which is about 30 credits,” said David Larkin, electrical engineering technologies professor and head of the CAMS project.

“These students may [enter] with good communication, writing or computer skills but lack a technical background,” Larkin said.

Operations management technology will set students up with companies to directly enter the workforce. The skills gained through the program will prepare students for roles in positions such as industrial marketing and sales, in line supervision and quality control.

“One of the problems our country has is we can’t supply enough machinists, tool makers, programmers and industrial maintenance people to fill the requirements that companies have in manufacturing,” said Larkin.

A major goal of CAMS and the new program is to fill the shortage of skilled craftspeople to local manufacturing firms.

“The only students who don’t leave the college with jobs are the ones that are moving on to receive another degree, which only sets them up further to succeed,” said Larkin.

By 2020, 220,000 new jobs for machinists and industrial maintenance technicians are estimated to be created in the U.S.

Public and private sector investments are vital for the CAMS project’s existence.

“We’re talking about a $14.5 million building, but that price is just the building. That doesn’t count everything that goes inside of it such as machines and equipment,” said Larkin.

A capital campaign committee made up of industry partners and senior faculty was created by the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation to help with fundraising for CAMS. $2.8 million has been secured toward the $3.2 million goal which is on track to be met by spring 2018.

A further $1 million challenge gift was given to the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation from the Gene Haas Foundation.

New York State matched the Gene Haas Foundation’s donation with an additional $1 million grant, recognizing economic development potential and CAMS importance to the local workforce.

Haas Automation is a longtime partner with the college and supplies students with equipment to train with.

“Mr. Haas is very dedicated to furthering education in the field, not only to us but the whole country,” said Larkin.

Other donations have came from GE Power for $25,000, the Hearst Foundation for $100,000 and $125,000 from Simmons Machine Tool Corporation.

“We at Simmons and the NSH Group do not see this as a donation, but rather an investment in our future and the Capital District,” said Simmons President, and co-chair of the CAMS Campaign Committee, David Davis.

“We are not only educating students but we are giving them a career,” said Larkin.

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