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Hudson Valley Community College Secures $100,000 for Workforce Training Research, Development Center

CONTACT: Eric Bryant or Janine Kava (518) 629-8071 or (518) 248-4555 – cell
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006

Taking another step toward becoming the Capital Region's training and workforce development hub, Hudson Valley Community College will establish a Business Research and Development Center that brings together local and regional businesses, human resource professionals and business development agencies to determine what types of training current and potential employees need.

The center was established with a $50,000 member item from State Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, R-Brunswick, and a matching $50,000 from the Rensselaer County Industrial Development Agency.

"Hudson Valley Community College has recognized the need to prepare students seeking employment opportunities in the growing high-tech industry in the Capital Region" Senator Bruno said. "The creation of a Business Research and Development Center at Hudson Valley Community College adds to the region-wide effort to sustain a well-trained workforce. I am proud to partner with Rensselaer County and the college in support of this program."

Added Hudson Valley President Andrew J. Matonak, Ed.D.: "We see this center becoming a proactive force in the economic development of Tech Valley. Working directly with business and industry partners, we can provide not only the training employees will need now, but research and forecast what training they may need in the future. I thank Senator Bruno and the IDA for recognizing the potential in this endeavor."

Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino and Jim Devine, president of the Hoosick Falls-based business Windo-Therm, joined Bruno and Matonak at the college's Bulmer Telecommunications Center today to announce the creation of the center to business leaders from across the region. Devine also serves as president of the Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing, which is affiliated with the Center for Economic Growth.

"A skilled, well-trained workforce is instrumental to the success of any business, but especially high technology businesses," Jimino said. "This Business Research and Development Center should prove to be a tremendous asset to the growth of our local economy as we market Rensselaer County as a potential home to those high technology companies."

Working in collaboration with regional businesses, the Business and Research Development Center will research and forecast the career training needs for the region, then work with businesses to develop both credit- and non-credit training to meet those needs.

The college's Workforce Development Institute (WDI) will oversee the new center, which will build upon existing partnerships and establish new ones. For example, the WDI already is collaborating with the Rensselaer County IDA, the Rensselaer Gateway Development Corporation, the Rensselaer County Economic Development and Planning Office and Empire State Development through an advisory council. In addition, during the past 18 months, the WDI has established collaborative training programs with CVS/pharmacy, Price Chopper Supermarkets and the City of Albany's Central Business Improvement District. WDI Fact Sheet

The Workforce Development Institute and the Central Business Improvement District are currently developing a "pre-employment training program," which will provide potential employees of Central Avenue businesses with the basic skills necessary for the world of work – such as customer service training and proper attire for the workplace – so that they may find and keep an entry-level job. This type of program could be replicated in other areas and even made industry- or company-specific.

With its access to technology, experience in distance learning, and reputation for educational excellence, Hudson Valley is well suited to provide training services around the region, Matonak added.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and workforce and academic preparation programs offered through the Educational Opportunity Center. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has more than 60,000 alumni.

Fact Sheet

The Workforce Development Institute (WDI) was established by Hudson Valley Community College in 1999 to provide the Capital Region with training and professional development opportunities.

The Institute offers: training on-site, off-site, or via distance learning; skills assessment; organizational consulting; and customized training.

Recent WDI Success Stories

Price Chopper: The college offers a 32-credit certificate program in Supermarket Management and Operations exclusively for Price Chopper associates. Academic leaders and supermarket executives worked together to develop the certificate, which includes four new, Price Chopper-specific courses.

CVS/pharmacy: The college has transformed a classroom at its Albany Extension Center into a mock pharmacy, which now hosts non-credit training for pharmacy technicians. The 120-hour course will provide a foundation for those interested in becoming pharmacy technicians.

New Training Options Available (2005-06)

Project Management: A practical and conceptual approach to project management, based upon the Project Management Institute's Body of Knowledge.

Tractor Trailer Driver Training: Full- and part-time training in this high growth field.

Non-Destructive Testing Skills for Materials and Maintenance Technicians: Nondestructive testing (NDT) is used in industry to test materials to ensure their physical properties and integrity.

Other Services Available to Business

  • Adventure Training Program/Ropes Course
  • Viking Video Technologies: A video and teleconferencing service that can provide two-way connectivity for meetings and conferences.
  • Conference and meeting facilities