Officials signed an agreement between Clinton Community College and Clarkson University this afternoon they say will enhance workforce training and education at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing in Plattsburgh.
The members of the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team, a group of commissioners and agency heads appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, were in Plattsburgh Wednesday to hear the North Country Regional Economic Develop Council’s progress report presentation and highlighted priority projects.
While in Plattsburgh they toured several facilities including the recently opened Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College. The Development Corporation President Paul Grasso says local workforce initiatives helps business retention, attraction and expansion. “Without a highly skilled workforce it's impossible to succeed economically. Our economic development council understands that in an age of globalization and rapid advances in technology no one can succeed without a highly skilled workforce.”
One of the advantages to advancing workforce education in the North Country is the proximity of Clarkson University. A new partnership with the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing was signed during the state officials’ visit. Clarkson University President Tony Collins says the partnership is an opportunity to grow an advanced manufacturing workforce regionally and nationally. “We think that we've got this better than anyone in terms of the integration of all forms of education from certificate programs to PhD. programs. And we’re thrilled to sign that agreement to deepen it and the future is so bright for advanced manufacturing in the North Country.”
Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale noted the benefit of Clarkson’s international reputation. “The development of new programs, the development of new research and the use of this building by both of us I think is going to make a significant difference to this entire region.”
DiPasquale added that the public-private college partnership is unique. “Clinton Community College couldn't be more pleased to be working with Clarkson not only because it's a private institution, which is groundbreaking, but more importantly because of who Clarkson is and the opportunities it's going to provide for real research, real training and make a significant difference in our region. It's truly a groundbreaking opportunity in the vision for our future.”
Collins noted the interaction between the two colleges will be much broader than academic courses. “This is an interaction across the full spectrum of active activities. We're very confident that we can build an advanced manufacturing corridor from Plattsburgh to Potsdam. And that involves workforce development, it involves research, it involves faculty exchanges. We need to develop much more comprehensive pathways to success in life and careers. Four year and postgraduate degrees are only one way that you can be successful in life. And so finding many pathways to career and professional and life success is really the objective behind the agreement that we signed. Together we hope to integrate and create probably the best workforce and support for industries in this region in advanced manufacturing in the globe. That's our objective.”
Construction of the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing was funded through a SUNY 2020 challenge grant. Degree classes began in September and workforce training began in August.