Hudson Valley Community College – in New York’s Tech Valley – is building a $14.5-million, 37,000-sq.-ft. advanced manufacturing center to train CNC machinists, toolmakers, CNC programmers, and industrial maintenance personnel. The Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills (CAMS), located in Troy, NY, is expected to be completed this May and open in September. Already, 15 well-known and respected OEMs are said to be participating in this project.
CAMS provides a unique approach to workforce training, brought about by the collaboration of educators, local, state, and federal governments, manufacturers and private sector investors in order to address critical skilled labor shortages in the manufacturing industry.
The U.S. manufacturing industry has experienced tremendous net growth over the past couple of decades. While that’s great news for the industry, manufacturers now face a brutal workforce shortage that threatens to impede continued growth. Today, more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs remain vacant in the United States.
And despite the fact that manufacturing is increasingly high-tech oriented—with robotics, specialized software, artificial intelligence, and computer-connected equipment quickly becoming the new norm—young people don’t view industrial manufacturing as a desirable career path. Even parents take a less-than-optimal view of the industry as a career choice for their kids. As reported by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute , “only 3 in 10 parents would consider guiding their child toward a career in the field.”
The Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills will allow the college to double enrollment in its advanced manufacturing technology program—from 144 to 288 students—to meet an urgent workforce demand for skilled labor. It is the only community college training program of its kind within 125 miles and has a 100-percent job placement rate for graduates.
HVCC said it partnered with several local construction companies to build CAMS, which was designed by Troy-based architecture firm Mosaic Associates. Contractors include: 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 Limited of Clifton Park for special inspections.
A new certificate program in operations management technology is in development to address the need for workers in first-line supervision, technical marketing and sales, technical procurement, production control and quality assurance within the industry. CAMS also will allow Hudson Valley to provide the next level of training for technology teachers by offering a “Train the Trainer” program designed especially for secondary and college STEAM educators.
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 and its students to workforce partners.
When completed, the Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills will provide:
10,000 sq. ft. of machine labs
13 Haas CNC machines—12 different machine models
Wire EDM, industrial 3D printing, CMM, CNC laser engraving, CAD/CAM, fully equipped industrial maintenance lab, CNC tool setting, and a variety of manufacturing software and special tooling
25 all-new base skills mill, lathe, and grinding manual machine tools
1,900-sq.-ft. additive manufacturing lab
1,600-sq.-ft. metrology lab
2,100-sq.-ft. industrial maintenance lab
108 CAD/CAM computer workstations; and five labs uniquely designed to double as regular classrooms, creating eight classrooms to be used as needed.