HVCC Opens $14.5 Million Center For Advanced Manufacturing Skills

Aug 27, 2019

Hudson Valley Community College opened its new Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills today.

HVCC President Dr. Roger Ramsammy welcomed visitors to the Troy campus to celebrate the new $14.5 million Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills.   "Travel agents, cashiers, librarians, postal carriers, taxi drivers, bank tellers, textile workers, prints industry, tool booth attendants, sewing machines and switchboard operators, agriculture workers, filing clerks, flooring finishers, assemblers and fabricators, metal and plastic machine operators, and the list could go on and on and on. When you hear those, what word comes to mind? The word is automation. Because the whole world as we know it, as it's said, by 2028 artificial intelligence will be dominating more than half of the jobs. But what I want to say to you is, when you think of those automation, who makes the parts for those automations to occur? So, when I say that to you, you think about the same machinists and programmers that we will be training right here in this facility. So I say to all of you, welcome to the future of this world, right in this building."

According to HVCC, CAMS is a 37,000-square foot cutting-edge, one-stop manufacturing technology center that will train students on the latest machine tools, equipment, tooling and software needed for employment with manufacturers throughout the Northeast.

HVCC says it's Advanced Manufacturing Technology program 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.

HVCC Board of Trustees chairman Neil Kelleher says CAMS programs will fast-track students into a local job market that is rebuilding itself with a high-tech workforce.   "Everybody had an uncle or a cousin or something who worked at Behr-Manning or Bendix or Green Island Ford, the phone company or General Electric. And if not for anything else, you could always count on that relationship and get a good-paying job, albeit a blue-collar factory job, but a good job and a job where you could raise a family and support a family, send kids to college, all those kinda things. Well, a lot of those opportunities, most of those opportunities are long gone. And when I first heard of the advanced manufacturing center here, was how far that could go in replacing a lot of those opportunities, and that we now have the ability to help those folks out who may not have an eye on a four-year degree or an advanced degree of some kind."

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon:  "No doubt, HVCC's 100 percent placement rate, yep, that's true, 100 percent placement rate for their graduates, will continue at the new Haas Center."

Founder of California-based Haas Automation, Gene Haas addresses the gathering at HVCC.
Credit WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Founder of California-based Haas Automation, Gene Haas' $1 million dollar donation jumpstarted plans to build CAMS in 2015.     "A gift of $1 million in this day and age is really not a lot of money, what the miracle was is that seed started something rolling, and then all the honorable senators and congressmen and community college people were able to take that small donation and turn it into this, it's very very impressive."

11,000 students are attending HVCC this school year. More than 150 are expected to enter CAMS' Advanced Manufacturing Technology A.O.S. degree program.

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About Hudson Valley Community College: Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs in three schools: Business and Liberal Arts; Health Sciences; and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it enrolls more than 10,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 80,000 successful alumni.