Planned manufacturing center to boost student job oppurtunities

Hunter Wallace
News Editor

3D rendering of the upcoming Gene Haas Center for advanced manufacturing. Courtesy of hvcc.edu

3D rendering of the upcoming Gene Haas Center for advanced manufacturing.

Hudson Valley has plans for building the Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills (CAMS) — an addition to campus that will ultimately increase students’ job prospects.

According to the summer 2017 issue of Valley View, Hudson Valley’s official alumni magazine, this new $14.5 million, 37,000 square foot building is set to be finished in the summer of 2019.
Once completed, the center will double enrollment in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) and help meet a growing workforce demand for skilled employees.

Valley View also states that “CAMS is envisioned as a one-stop hub to support industry training and employee recruitment, and the building’s design provides corporate partners with access to offices and conference space adjacent to faculty offices, student classrooms and labs.

Facilities will be available for corporate demonstration purposes, shared training activities and events that connect the college to its workforce partners more than ever before.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 900,000 more manufacturing jobs today than in 2010, yet the country’s manufacturing companies are struggling to hire qualified employees necessary for business and economic growth.

Also, by 2020, more than 200,000 new positions are expected to be available for machinists and industrial maintenance technicians nationwide.

Nearly all graduates of Hudson Valley’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology program find jobs, and most find work before graduation. About 45 students graduate from this program every year, but lab space and essential equipment on campus limits the college’s ability to enroll more students.

This, combined with the fact that Hudson Valley is the only community college within 125 miles that trains CNC machinists and programmers, makes CAMS an essential project.

In early 2015, Hudson Valley’s College Foundation established a capital campaign committee, led by industry partners and faculty, and set out to raise $3.5 million for construction and equipment for the new building. As of June 2017, the College Foundation has secured $2.95 million toward this goal.

A leadership challenge gift of $1 million from the Gene Haas Foundation, longtime partner of Hudson Valley and creator/provider of CNC machine tools for manufacturing within this program, was received by the college in September 2015.

In August 2016, Albany-based Simmons Machine Tool Corporation (part of the NSH group) donated $125,000 for the construction of a state-of-the-art electro/mechanical industrial maintenance lab.

“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 William Davis.

“I was making my rounds in our facility recently and noticed that every person in the machine shop at that moment was an HVCC graduate[, and that e]very precision-machined part they were working on came from projects that HVCC students and HVCC Professor David Larkin himself helped to design, program and manufacture; all of these parts are critical to maintaining the wheels of this country’s locomotives,” continued Davis.

In the end, the center will provide more opportunities to both students and employers.
“Hudson Valley Community College greatly appreciates this extraordinary gift from Simmons Machine Tool Corporation and the NSH Group,” said Hudson Valley President Drew Matonak.

“We’re proud to be their partner in the reinvention and major expansion of manufacturing education in our region, and, led by Professor Dave Larkin, Hudson Valley’s new center is the epitome of public-private partnership, and together we’ll provide one of the most advanced training centers for manufacturing in the U.S.”

For more information, visit http://www.hvcc.edu/foundation/cams.html, contact Dave Larkin at (518-629-7381) or contact the Foundation office at (518) 629-8012.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: