Local and state officials cut the ribbon this morning, officially opening the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College.
Although students have been using the facility since July, the formal ribbon cutting of the new 30,000-square foot education center was held Thursday. Intended to be the regional advanced manufacturing training hub, it was developed with input from the region’s economic developers and manufacturers.
Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale says the institute sets a new tone for the region that will attract new business and industry to the region. “I think it is the future of education providing the technical skills in coordination with the business and industry. They’re driving what the students need to know in so that when the students leave here they’re able to leave here with the skill sets that the business and industry have told us that they want. So it’s absolutely the future in terms of setting up how business and industry hire their people. And we’ve got a state of the art facility that the governor really put $13 million in here but put more than $50 million in across the state. So it’s beginning to shape up not only here in our North Country in Clinton County, but across the state of New York.”
Newly installed SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina Johnson attended the ceremony and helped cut the ribbon. She told the crowd her vision for the SUNY system is to invest in pilot programs like IAM and replicate them across the system. “The town council and community leaders they got together maybe a decade ago and they looked at what in this region could we do? Some of the fundamentals are the same how you work town and gown and across the different sectors. Those strategies at a metalevel are the same. It’s just that the actual implementation can be different and distinctive for that region.”
IAM Director Kristopher Renadette is excited to see the goals that were set when creating the institute being met. “We set to build a 30,000-square foot facility with the utmost flexibility to continuously change with manufacturing and industry as they grow and progress over the years and to immerse students in that type of industrial training environment. And I think the tipping point for me was day one when students walked in the door and the look on their face and the look on the men and women who come in from industry and are training in here and just listening to their discussion about how the equipment here, how the opportunity, can take them and just explode them to the next level in their professional career.”
In 2012, The Development Corporation partnered with the Clinton Community College Foundation to fund a feasibility study to determine if the region could support an advanced manufacturing institute. President and CEO Paul Grasso says it will become as important to economic development as the region’s basic infrastructure. “This is going to be absolutely in getting new businesses to come here. The first question is always where am I going to get a qualified workforce? And this is the place where we’ll start.”
Funding to construct the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College was awarded through a SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant.