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Firms Are in Hot Pursuit of Soon-to-Graduate Students from Hudson Valley's Electrical Construction & Maintenance Program

CONTACT: Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8071 or Jeff Foley (518) 629-8085
FOR RELEASE: Immediate: Tuesday, May 9, 2000
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High-tech companies are competing heavily to recruit students from Hudson Valley Community College's Electrical Construction & Maintenance Program, wining and dining them and offering lucrative salary-and-benefit packages.

Already, seven of the 30 members of the graduating class have signed on with Intel Corp. in Hudson, Mass., with a benefit package that includes a starting salary of $40,000-$45,000, laptop computers, stock options, and liberal relocation expenses. Another has signed on with MiCRUS in Poughkeepsie. The rest are being courted by Kimberly-Clark in Connecticut and ANECO in North Carolina.

"A host of major employers are obviously very interested in the graduates of Hudson Valley's Electric Construction and Maintenance program," said Hudson Valley Community College President John L. Buono. "Our graduates are highly recruitable."

Michael Dame, 22, of Cohoes, received offers from Intel, MiCRUS and ANECO. He plans to start June 12th at Intel, which has offered a competitive package, including a $40,000-45,000 salary, personal home computer, $15,000 in relocation expenses, stock participation, funding of further education and regular bonuses. He expects to spend the first six months of his employment training in one of the following locations: Israel; Ireland; California; New Mexico; Arizona or Oregon.

After his high school graduation, Dame attending SUNY Oneonta for a short time, studying physical therapy. He left that program, and worked for a year at a paper company. "I was working swing shift, and I didn't want to do that the rest of my life," he said. He decided to enroll at Hudson Valley Community College, and set a goal to become an electrician.

"I thought I'd get a job doing construction and make a decent living. I didn't realize I'd have the opportunity to travel all over the world."

David Larkin, chairman of the Electrical Construction & Maintenance department, said the interest is fueled partly by a critical shortage of individuals with technical skills. Critical shortage of individuals with technical skills. In addition, he said, the corporations are attracted by the skill level of the Hudson Valley graduates. "The companies cannot locate people with the background these graduates have."

Gerard McEneany, an Assistant Professor in the ECM program, agreed. "These corporations are impressed with the graduates' trained minds, and their ability to implement the training they've received here. They also are very impressed with their work ethic."

The line of interested corporations is a long one, and growing every day.

In April, ECM students were wooed by Kimberly-Clark Corp. in New Milford, Connecticut. The organizer of that recruiting effort was Patrick Orioles, a 1987 graduate of the college's ECM program, who is currently an Electrical Maintenance Planner at the Connecticut company. Kimberly-Clark, he said have asked him to help recruit more ECM graduates from Hudson Valley.

Last month, Orioles brought 30 Hudson Valley students down to the Connecticut mill on a luxury motorcoach for wining-and-dining with management and a plant tour, sending them off with a Kimberly-Clark gift package. Orioles said Kimberly-Clark has hired from three ECM graduating classes, and hopes to find a few more this year to add to its staff. New graduates from the Hudson Valley program, he said, can expect to start at about $20 an hour. The ECM program at Hudson Valley trains students in every facet of electrical industry, he said, is a "gold mine."

Last October, 35 ECM students traveled to Raleigh, N.C. for a recruiting trip sponsored by ANECO Electrical Construction, a Clearwater, Fla.-based firm. ANECO officials have made it clear that they would hire the entire graduating class, if possible.

"We'll take all the Hudson Valley graduates we can get," said Les Franklin, an ANECO senior vice president. "We could take a whole class, definitely."

The Intel recruits, thus far, are: Michael Dame of Cohoes; Mark Peabody of Albany; Jeremy Beraldi of Dalton, Mass.; Jeremy Hockaday of Ballston Lake; Jay Benoit of Cohoes; Mike Ferguson of Westerlo and John Lee of Nassau. The MiCRUS recruits are: Joe Conners of Clifton Park; Bryan Sherwood of Poughkeepsie and Greg Lopez of Poughquag.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Business, as well as an Educational Opportunity Center offering certificate programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and it known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.