Troy, N.Y. — Hudson Valley Community College hosted a grand opening ceremony for the $14.5 million Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills (CAMS) on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. This 37,000-square-foot facility will allow the college to double enrollment from 144 to 288 students in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology A.O.S. degree program and meet an urgent workforce demand for skilled manufacturing employees in the region. Hudson Valley President Roger Ramsammy was joined at the event by the college Board of Trustees; the board of the college foundation; elected officials, donors, manufacturing and economic development leaders, and students, faculty and staff.
Hudson Valley’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology program prepares graduates for careers as CNC machinists, toolmakers and industrial technicians, along with marketing, sales, procurement and supervisory jobs. It is the only community college training program of its kind within 125 miles and has a 100 percent job placement rate for graduates, with nearly all students securing work prior to graduation, according to the college.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 900,000 more manufacturing jobs today than in 2010, but the country’s manufacturing companies are struggling to hire qualified employees necessary for business and economic growth. By 2020, more than 200,000 new positions are expected for machinists and industrial maintenance technicians nationwide. With the opening of the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills, Hudson Valley is even better positioned to help fill the shortage of well-trained, skilled craftspeople and help manufacturing firms to expand, create new jobs and contribute to the ongoing economic growth of the Capital Region.
CAMS is a one-stop manufacturing technology center that will train students on the latest machine tools, equipment, tooling and software needed for employment with manufacturers in the Northeast. 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, meetings and events that connect the college to its workforce partners more than ever before.
The Hudson Valley Community College Foundation worked for more than two years to secure gifts toward the construction of CAMS, including a leadership challenge gift of $1 million from the Gene Haas Foundation, a longtime partner of Hudson Valley and provider of the equipment used in training its students; a $2.9 million grant through Empire State Development as part of the New York State Regional Economic Development Council awards announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in December 2017; and $1.5 million in federal funding through the U.S. Federal Economic Development Administration, announced by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in December 2017, as well as numerous contributions from other local partners, alumni and friends.
The college partnered with several local construction companies to build CAMS, which was designed by the Troy-based Mosaic Associates Architects. Contractors included: Bette & Cring Construction Group of Latham for general construction; Tri-Valley Plumbing & Heating Inc. of Schenectady for plumbing; John W. Danforth Co. of Ballston Spa for mechanical; T&J Electrical Associates LLC of Clifton Park for electrical; Comalli Group Inc. of Albany for communications cabling; and Atlantic Testing Laboratories Ltd. of Clifton Park for special inspections. The college broke ground on the building in April 2018.
“All of us at Hudson Valley Community College are so proud celebrate the grand opening of the Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills today,” said Dr. Roger Ramsammy, president of Hudson Valley Community College. “I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the donors, public officials, and industry partners who have made this project possible. Their support and generosity in making CAMS a reality will allow our students to secure excellent jobs and the employers in our local manufacturing industry to fill their need for skilled workers. This is a perfect example of how the college and the community continue to work together to enrich our region’s economy.”
“I am pleased to congratulate President Roger Ramsammy and the entire HVCC community on the opening of the Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “I will always remember being at the 2016 Commencement when President Matonak publicly assigned me the homework of finding some federal funding for this project. We rolled up our sleeves and were able to secure $1.5 million from the Economic Development Administration the following year. I am proud to be a small part of the creation of the CAMS and know that it will provide skills training for good paying jobs for thousands of students in the decades to come.”
“The opening of Hudson Valley Community College’s new Advanced Manufacturing Technology training facility is a major development for the Capital Region’s economy,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This world-class facility will help train the future of New York’s advanced manufacturing workforce. One of the best ways to ensure strong economic growth in our state is by preparing students and our workers for high-skilled manufacturing jobs. I will always fight to ensure that our students and workers have the resources they need to be successful in a 21st century economy.”
“By further building our talent pipeline, the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills is growing the skilled workforce that will encourage manufacturers to expand in the Capital Region and around New York State,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky.
“I am honored to have my name on this extraordinary facility that is a new standard for manufacturing education, and I am overwhelmed by the teamwork that has brought it to fruition,” said Haas Manufacturing President and Founder Gene Haas.
“The Gene Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills is a state-of-the-art facility that will provide students the opportunity to be trained utilizing current technology and machinery,” said Vice President of Allendale Machinery Systems and Co-Chair of the CAMS Capital Campaign Marty McGill. “The Center represents the new image of what manufacturing is today: not just a job, but a well-respected and rewarding career.”
“Our investment in the HVCC CAMS building and corporate sponsorship of students has been the single most transformative investment we have made,” said Simmons Machine Tools President and COO and Co-Chair of the CAMS Capital Campaign David William Davis. “It has improved our profitability, increased our market share, and allowed us to offer technologies at value levels attractive to our customers overseas and here in North America. We believe this region has much to offer in terms of human capital, but only if our people are equipped with useful skills that enable digital manufacturing to be harnessed by our manufacturing companies.”