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Hudson Valley Community College Awarded $3.4 million Grant To Support Biotechnology, Biomanufacturing Education

CONTACT: Paula Monaco (518) 629-8071,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Friday, February 12, 2010

Hudson Valley Community College will receive $3,382,200 over the next three years to help educate and drive interest in the growing biotechnology and biomanufacturing industry in the region, it was announced today.

The college was one of four recipients in New York State for this competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which will support instruction, including curriculum development and equipment needs, and also fund outreach programs to local school districts in the areas of biotechnology and biomanufacturing. The college has already begun to establish biotech-related partnerships with Questar III and two local school districts (Albany High School and Averill Park High School).

The grant funding comes from the federal DOL's Employment and Training Administration under the category of: Health Care Sector and Other High Growth and Emerging Industries Grant. The funding is part of the American Renewal and Recovery Act.

"With this grant funding, Hudson Valley will serve as a hub for the science education community, bridging those with an interest in the sciences at the high school level and leading them on a path that can end with great careers in the growing biotechnology industry," said President Andrew Matonak. "We are pleased that the federal government recognizes the leadership role we can take in furthering this growing industry."

The college already has a two-year biotechnology associate degree and a one-year biotechnology certificate, as well as a two-year biological sciences degree, which serves as a transfer degree for those pursuing pre-med, veterinary or other research heavy baccalaureate degrees. Most students entering the biotechnology degree or certificate find work as biological research and forensic technicians, a career field that is expected to growth both locally and nationally.

Part of the grant funding will be used to both assess and stimulate interest in the sciences at the high school level and then provide additional workshops and training to high school seniors that would allow them to enter the college's biotechnology program with adequate math and science skills. The college also will use the funding to work with the New York State Department of Labor to retrain unemployed or displaced high school and college graduates for entry level positions in this field.

In addition to local school districts, the college plans to work with a variety of partners in higher education and industry locally, including The University at Albany, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Albany Medical College and local pharmaceutical companies such as Regeneron and AMRI.

Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 70 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business, as well as non-credit workforce development programs. In addition, programs are run through the Educational Opportunities Center, which offers certification 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 13,500 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining.