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08/09/2016
Simmons Machine Tool Corporation Donates $125,000 to Hudson Valley Community College Advanced Manufacturing Center

CONTACT: Dennis Kennedy (518) 629-8170, d.kennedy1@hvcc.edu
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016

Alumni and representatives from Simmons Machine Tool Corportation and Hudson Valley Community College The Albany-based Simmons Machine Tool Corporation (part of the NSH Group) today announced a donation of $125,000 toward the Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills (CAMS) fundraising campaign at Hudson Valley Community College. The gift to the college’s Foundation will support the construction of a state-of-the-art electro/mechanical industrial maintenance lab at a new training and education facility planned for Hudson Valley’s Troy campus.

“We at Simmons and the NSH Group do not see this as a donation, but rather an investment in our future and the Capital District,” said Simmons President David William Davis, who is the co-chair of the CAMS Campaign Committee. “I was making my rounds in our facility recently, and noticed that every person in the machine shop at that moment was an HVCC graduate. Every precision-machined part they were working on came from projects that HVCC students and HVCC Professor David Larkin himself helped to design, program and manufacture. And all of these parts are critical to maintaining the wheels of this country’s locomotives.”

“The Gene Haas Center project is the perfect investment, and Simmons and the NSH Group are excited to be a part of its success. It is a NSH focus to be globally involved in furthering next generation education and skills development,” said NSH Group CEO John Oliver Naumann.

“Hudson Valley Community College greatly appreciates this extraordinary gift from Simmons Machine Tool Corporation and the NSH Group. We’re proud to be their partner in the reinvention and major expansion of manufacturing education in our region. Led by Professor Dave Larkin, Hudson Valley’s new center is the epitome of public-private partnership, and together we’ll provide one of the most advanced training centers for manufacturing in the US,” said Drew Matonak, president of Hudson Valley Community College.

College plans for the Gene F. Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills call for a new $14.5 million, 37,000 square foot building to be complete in summer 2019. The center will expand training opportunities for students in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) degree program and allow for the college to double the program’s enrollment, while allowing the college to develop a new program to fill additional technically related jobs in management, sales, marketing, procurement etc.

Public sector and private industry investment in the center is crucial for both the college and the region’s manufacturing industry. By 2020, 220,000 new positions are expected for machinists and industrial maintenance technicians nationwide. With a new training facility, Hudson Valley is poised to help fill the shortage of well-trained, skilled craftspeople and help manufacturing firms to expand, create new jobs and contribute to economic growth.

In September 2015, Hudson Valley received a leadership challenge gift of $1 million from the Gene Haas Foundation for the new facility. Gene Haas is the founder and president of Haas Automation, Inc., which builds CNC Machine Tools for manufacturing. Haas Automation is a longtime partner of Hudson Valley and provider of the equipment used in training its students. Recognizing the economic development potential and workforce need in the area, New York State responded in December with an additional $1 million grant.

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology program prepares graduates for immediate employment with high-tech manufacturing companies performing advanced machining processes that produce tooling and components used to make everything from electronics and defense equipment, to power generators and aerospace apparatus. The program’s coursework satisfies educational requirements for New York State Machinist, Toolmaker, CNC Machinist and CNC Programmer apprenticeships.

An important aspect of the program is the partnerships shared with manufacturing companies in the region. A number of companies in the region provide financial support including scholarships for books, tuition and fees, as well as part-time jobs for students that lead to full-time employment upon graduation. The program has a 100% job placement rate for graduates, with nearly all students securing jobs prior to of graduation.

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Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 85 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 nearly 11,500 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.