Hudson Valley CC receives grant to expand manufacturing program

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hudson Valley Community College is on its way to some new classrooms and labs thanks to a $1 million grant from the Haas Foundation.

Most college students are worried about getting a job after graduation but not Alex Schaefer. He’s a first-year manufacturing student at HVCC.

“It’s a guaranteed career path,” he said. “It’s a good career. I mean, everyone needs a machinist.”

The manufacturing industry is hiring, but HVCC can’t supply the workforce that’s needed.

“We have more students that want to enter that program, and we have employers who need those skilled workers,” HVCC President Drew Matonak said. “We don’t have the facility to be able to train as many people as we would like to be able to do.”

But all of that will soon change thanks to a $1 million donation to the school from manufacturing giant Haas Automation.

“Haas has over 180,000 machines installed worldwide and something over the years that we were making machines that became very evident to Haas, and that was that there was not enough people to operate those machines,” Gene Haas Foundation Administrator Kathy Looman said.

The donation will cover a portion of the costs of building a two-story state-of-the-art add on to existing labs. The project is expected to cost $12 million meaning the school will need to host fundraisers.

“We’re going to be looking at a number of sources,” Matonak said. “Looking to our business partners, looking to the state, looking to the college for grant opportunities to be able to pull together the funds to make it happen.”

Matonak hopes to make the expansion a reality so more students like Schaefer can benefit from a high-paying job.

“Knowing that when I leave here, I actually have somewhere to go, and I’m secure,” he said.

The new Gene Haas Center for Technology is expected to launch in fall 2017.

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