It’s no secret that in the years ahead, our national and global economies will demand a workforce that is capable in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in addition to the arts and humanities. Our everyday workforce is shifting to a more advanced kind, with tools for automation, data systems, and mechanics being used from research to service oriented jobs. The leaders in these fields are gaining the knowledge and practice in their needed areas throughout the education pipeline, from high school to college.
Yesterday, Tech Valley High School opened its new location inside the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany. The move, more than a year in the making, was planned as a way to provide the students with project-based learning opportunities in a high-tech atmosphere. The new Tech Valley High School facility has a state-of-the-art infrastructure, including a one-to-one computer environment with wireless internet and projection capability, as well as special design and fabrication labs. With the growing need for STEM focused studies for tomorrow’s workforce, schools like Tech Valley High School can prepare their students with the training and knowledge to enter college and become key role players in the workforce of tomorrow.
In addition to CNSE/SUNYIT and Tech Valley High School administrators, attendees to the event included SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, city of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy.
When asked about the significance of the opening, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, “Bringing Tech Valley High School to the Nanotech Complex is a ground-breaking education and workforce-training model like no other. At the new school, students and teachers will have unprecedented opportunity to engage directly with leading nanotechnology researchers and faculty, and have access to the industry’s best resources, labs, classrooms, and equipment all in the environment of a world-class facility. The addition of Tech Valley High School to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering/SUNY Institute of Technology is going to help Albany and New York State continue to build a competitive pipeline of high-tech professionals, and SUNY is proud to be a part of this exciting occasion.”
With the growing need to prepare young people for an increasingly high-tech workforce, a strong education pipeline is critical to making this happen. The re-location and partnership of Tech Valley High School with CNSE/SUNYIT is a great example of SUNY’s impact on both our present and our future.
Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.