The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College has been hailed as a milestone toward building the region’s 21st-century workforce.
Speaking at the ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday, Clinton Community College Interim President Fred Smith said it was an honor to be present during such a historic event.
“The institute is and will be a significant and very important economic force for the North Country,” he said.
FALL 2017 START
Clinton Community was awarded up to $12.7 million in state funds through the SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program for the project.
Construction is expected to cost $9.1 million, while soft costs, such as furnishings, will increase the total price to about $11.4 million.
Construction is expected to be complete by August 2017, with the institute available for classes for the 2017 fall semester.
The college’s technology and engineering programs will move to the new facility, which will provide them with room to expand.
The institute will provide a link between Clinton Community, Clarkson University and SUNY Plattsburgh.
It will also allow the college and its partners to increase the customized training programs offered to local manufacturers through workforce and economic development partners, such as the Development Corp., North Country Chamber of Commerce, North Country Workforce Investment Board and CITEC.
Clinton Community College Board of Trustees Chairwoman Nina Coolidge said the sound of construction equipment, already at work on the nearby site, was music to her ears.
It is the true beginning of one of the most exciting phases of development on campus, she said, as it will allow training opportunities for the region’s students and adult workforce to match the manufacturing jobs of the future.
“This will truly be a community project,” Coolidge said.
She thanked the Clinton County Legislature for its continued support of the college.
BUILDING A WORKFORCE
Clinton County Legislature Chairman Harry McManus said the groundbreaking marks a special day for the county, as it helps build the synergy between the manufacturing community and education.
It will be a means to show prospective companies the region can meet their workforce needs, he said, which will also help the school attract students.
“This is the beginning of a transition that will allow Clinton Community College to better compete in the higher-education marketplace,” McManus said.
North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas, co-chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, said the institute would be important even if it were just classroom and lab space. It has added value as a place where workers can train as companies move to the region or upgrade their operations.
“It is more than that — the potential pathway for sustaining 21st-century manufacturing in the region,” he said.
This shows potential firms such as Norsk Titanium, a 3-D company planned for Plattsburgh, that the training support and the collaborative partners are in place to make that venture successful, as well, he said.
“That’s what makes this a particularly remarkable occasion for the North Country,” Douglas said. “It is a foundation for our economic dreams of the future, and those dreams are becoming a reality.”
Part of that is the continued growth of the relationship with Clarkson University and schools throughout the SUNY system.
“We’re building a fabric, a mosaic in the North Country of pathways toward success for every citizen,” he said.
Students and faculty at the university, he continued, will also be able to take advantage of opportunities that will arise at the new facility.
It is a great addition to the region’s emergence as a hub for the manufacture of transportation equipment and the future move into aerospace, Collins said.
“Now, a lot of Clarkson’s focus is to the east to Plattsburgh and to what’s occurring here. The aerospace industry, it really is manna from heaven for Clarkson to be able to interact so.”
Nathan Bull of AES Northeast of Plattsburgh, the architectural and engineering firm for the project, said it’s an exciting opportunity to design an innovative technology center.
“We’re also challenged as a design firm to be on the cutting edge, and this type of project allows us to continue pushing ourselves to be a leader in the area,” he said.
One of the project goals from the start was to create an energy-efficient facility.
It features an energy-efficient thermal envelope, LED lighting and energy recovery heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.
The layout of the facility is very flexible, Bull said, with spaces for training but also classrooms that can hold up to 100 people.
“It was designed higher than code. We tried to blend it with a lot of the history of the campus but also have a lot of the innovative touches that this type of program deserves.”[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]