GE Power Announces $25K Grant to College

October 3, 2016

The following press announcement was released by GE Power on Friday, Sept. 30.

GE Power has awarded a $25,000 grant Hudson Valley Community College in support of a GE machinist training program that celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Hudson Valley will use the grant to develop a Student Advisement Center and will be named in the memory of GE Human Resources Manager, Gale O'Gorman, who was instrumental in creating and sustaining GE's machinist program, which has graduated more than 70 employees during that time.

"Gale was a dedicated employee of GE for 25 years, who gave of herself to enhance the professional training and development of the employees of GE Schenectady," said Nathan McCormick, plant manager, Steam Turbine & Generator Manufacturing in Schenectady. "A premier HR professional, Gale led the initiative for GE workers to be participants in the highly recognized apprentice program, and eloquently worked on behalf of its workers to influence both the company management and unions for a better wage and working environment for its workforce."

The Machining Technology Training Program (MTTP) is a chance for employees to work and get an education so they can become better at their craft. The training and degree creates a path for employees to earn more financially and become a real asset to the manufacturing process at GE. 

MTTP gives GE employees who have successfully completed their six-month probationary period an opportunity to apply to a program where they can earn an associate degree, by completing a two-year course of studies at Hudson Valley. Participants will be paid for a 40-hour work week which includes: on the job training, labs, travel to and from school, and time to do homework, while classes are in session. 

GE currently has 19 seniors, seven freshman and four evening students attending the college's Advanced Manufacturing degree program.

"Gale was a member of the GE community who played a pivotal role in the recruitment and development of hundreds of GE employees," says Jordan Steller, HR Business Partner for GE Renewables. "Gale was a trusted advisor and a link to the acquisition and training of talented individuals in our community. It is for that reason that the student advisement center located on the second floor in the Gene F. Haas Advanced Manufacturing Training center be named the "Gale M. O'Gorman Academic Advisement Center" to celebrate her legacy."

Trusted advising is vital to the long-term success of Hudson Valley students and the Advanced Manufacturing Programs. The advisor is the link between the student and their program and good academic advising can be a key to student retention. 

"This new advisement space for our Advanced Manufacturing students will be a fitting tribute to the college's ongoing partnership with General Electric and to one person who worked diligently to help foster that partnership, Gale O'Gorman," said President Drew Matonak. "Gale's legacy will be a space where students can find the guidance they need to advance their careers, and we at Hudson Valley are grateful to GE for recognizing her accomplishments with this gift." 

At a ceremony at the Schenectady GE Campus on September 30, GE also renamed the MTTP after Keith Weller, a long-time supporter of the program.

"MTTP was a great experience. It was a great structure where it taught me to be a machinist," says Albert Banner, an NC programmer at GE and an adjunct professor at Hudson Valley. "Going into the program I had no machining experience at all. MTTP gave me the education and training to further my career and let me become a programmer now for rotors and fields. At the time, Keith Weller and Rick Dailey were in charge of us. Keith gave us every opportunity to succeed both at extra time at Hudson Valley and here in Schenectady."

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