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North Country News

Two Colleges Sign Agreement To Partner On Advanced Manufacturing And Workforce Training

Clarkson University and Clinton Community College signed a new agreement Tuesday morning extending and expanding a partnership between the two colleges to advance engineering studies and workforce training.

North Country officials and workforce leaders met at Clinton Community College’s Institute for Advanced Manufacturing to celebrate the signing of the new memorandum of understanding.

Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale says this revised and renewed agreement reopens the past ability of students to have seamless transfer to Clarkson University. A second piece expands research and development and works with business and industry as partners. 

“It’s taking advantage of both faculties," DiPasquale said. "It’s taking advantage of the students who are studying masters and doctoral level courses. Giving them the ability to have hands on experience with equipment. So it’s taking it to the next level where Clarkson and Clinton Community College have that seamless ability as partners to work together on projects, on workforce projects, on helping the workforce get stronger in the area and looking at business needs and saying let’s come up with a solution to help. Unique in its way that not many colleges do that. So it’s a really strong partnership that will bring the two schools together in ways that most colleges never get to do.”
 
Clarkson University President Tony Collins says the new agreement builds on a previous pact including more opportunities for faculty and research especially with their Center for Advanced Materials Processing.  It also offers more chances to build business and innovations. 

“We have a center for Advanced Materials Processing at Clarkson and that’s really the closer association with the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing here and we’re thrilled sign that agreement and expand it many different ways," Collins said. "Our center is one of the most cited activities in New York state for the positive impact on the state. For every dollar that the state has invested in Clarkson’s Center for Advanced Materials Processing $24 have emanated, have grown out of, that $1 investment. And that’s pretty unique when it comes to state investments. And so we’ve got that asset and we’ve found here a great partner in Clinton Community College. But it’s much more than that. We’ve created an ecosystem of innovation and creation.”

North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas says many employers are experiencing a labor shortage and in the wake of the pandemic are reassessing how to sustain a workforce. He says this agreement should help employers close skills gaps.  

“We’re reminding the employer community that these tools are here," Douglas said. "Through the pandemic Clinton Community College was mostly shut down. And so there was kind of an interruption to a degree in being able even to avail yourselves of the tools for training that were in place. But now it’s over.  We have this Institute for Advanced Manufacturing. We have these programs and we need the employer community to come back to the table and start using it and maximize it for your skills development. It’s here. It’s ready. Don’t complain about workforce if you’re not using the tools that are available to you.”
 
Officials also took the opportunity to praise Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale for his work at the college.  He is leaving to lead a community college in Brockton, Massachusetts. Collins is set to retire from Clarkson in June 2022.

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