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06/10/2015
New Mechatronics Lab at Hudson Valley Community College Receives $230,000 Grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Grant is Part of a $1 Million Commitment to Upstate New York

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180, d.renfrew@hvcc.edu
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hudson Valley Community College has received a $230,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to equip a new Mechatronics laboratory in the college’s Training and Education Center for Semiconductor Manufacturing and Alternative and Renewable Technologies (TEC-SMART) in Malta. The lab and newly purchased state-of-the-art equipment will be used by Hudson Valley students and high school students in the Clean Technologies and Sustainable Industries Early College High School organized in partnership with Ballston Spa Central School District.

Students of Hudson Valley’s new Associate in Applied Science degree program in Mechatronics will begin training in the lab in fall 2015. The first of its kind in the Capital Region, the 62-credit, multi-disciplinary program is designed for students interested in the use of information technology and control systems to direct the operation of the mechanical systems that power semiconductor manufacturing machinery and other modern industrial equipment.

“At JPMorgan Chase, we believe we have a fundamental responsibility to use our resources and expertise to help the communities where we live and work. We are proud to be partnering with Hudson Valley Community College to provide training to folks in the region that will fill important jobs within the advanced manufacturing sector,” said David Horan, Regional Executive at JPMorgan Chase.

The new lab also will offer advanced training opportunities for 9th through 12th grade students pursuing the Mechatronics Pathway in the Early College High School. Nearly 300 students from 21 school districts study at the P-TECH-funded high school located at TEC-SMART. They are simultaneously enrolled in high school and college, taking one of four career pathways leading to an associate degree at Hudson Valley.

“Hudson Valley will continue to be on the cutting edge of technological training in our region while providing tremendous opportunities for both high school and college students studying Mechatronics, thanks to this grant. It allows us to develop the applied learning opportunities that our students seek and to train a highly-skilled workforce for area businesses. JPMorgan Chase’s insight and generosity is greatly appreciated,” said Drew Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College.

“This funding from JPMorgan Chase, and Hudson Valley’s commitment to develop one of the region’s first Mechatronics labs, will further enable our students to pursue a career pathway that leads to employment with one of our program sponsors right here in the region,” indicated Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D., Superintendent of the Ballston Spa Central School District. He further stated, “The resources provided by business partners are instrumental in sustaining our work as we continue to build the pathway between high school, college and jobs in related technology fields.”

Part of a two-year, $1 million upstate-wide JPMorgan Chase workforce development initiative involving Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, the grant aims to diminish a skills gap faced by Capital Region employers. JPMorgan Chase made the strategic decision to invest in the Mechatronics training lab at Hudson Valley’s TEC-SMART in part because of its location in NYSERDA’s Saratoga Technology and Energy Park® (STEP®) and proximity to GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The manufacturing giant and other companies in the region will have direct access to workforce-ready Mechatronics program graduates.

Mike Hickey, Chairman, Center for Economic Growth (CEG) said, “Our Region has seen incredible growth in advanced manufacturing, with higher wage jobs and technology innovation. JPMorgan Chase’s investment in Hudson Valley Community College’s Mechatronics lab will help to increase the skill and earning capacity among low-income job seekers while strengthening the pipeline of skilled workers for our growing advanced manufacturing sector. With workforce development being one of CEG's strategic pillars, we are thrilled to be working with partners like JPMorgan Chase to ensure continued growth in these sectors.”

Congressman Paul Tonko, who represents the 20th congressional District, including Saratoga Springs, Troy, Schenectady and Albany, commented, “Hudson Valley Community College’s exciting new addition represents an opportunity for Capital Region students that will help them become part of the highly-trained workforce our region is well-known for producing – and one that the nation needs to thrive in a 21st century global innovation economy. I thank President Matonak and his entire team for continuing to build the relationships that boost STEM education in the area, and make Hudson Valley a great source of pride for Troy and the entire Capital Region.”

The Clean Tech ECHS was developed by the Ballston Spa CSD in partnership with Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The program has grown regionally from originally serving 25 students in two school districts in 2011, to now serving up to 300 students from across 21 school districts in eight counties in the fall of 2015. Juniors and seniors in the program earn college credits from Hudson Valley Community College in this ECHS model that was established in 2011. Students are now being enrolled at the 9th and 10th grade levels as the program expands into four career pathways including Clean Energy, Computer Science & Information Systems, Mechatronics and Entrepreneurship.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.