STEM careers and education continue to expand across the country to fill the growing need of technically skilled labor. In New York, there is a critical shortage of engineers in the Hudson Valley region, but SUNY is stepping in to fill the gap and bring bright engineering minds to help innovate and grow the economy of the Hudson Valley.
On October 31st, a ceremony at SUNY New Paltz was held to break ground on the all new Engineering Innovation Hub. The Engineering Innovation Hub, a $14 million project, is expected to be completed by summer 2019. This state-of-the-art facility will be home to multiple concentrations as it brings new programs and infrastructure to the region. Included in the new building will be space for both learning and development, such as the mechanical engineering bachelor’s degree program, the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (3D design and printing), and space dedicated to new businesses participating in START-UP NY.
Chancellor Johnson joined elected officials and other college officials at the event. Many noted that not only will this be a great facility for SUNY students, but it will lead to great long-term advancements in economic development for the entire Hudson Valley region. “An innovation hub is a place that inspires and fosters open, cross-disciplinary, collaborative interactions, as well as connections to local industry,” said Chancellor Johnson.
New Paltz President Donald Christian agreed, saying “This investment is projected to yield a regional economic impact of more than $75 million, about 195 (full time) jobs over a 10-year-period… The hub will be the college’s second new academic building in just about 20 years, and will meet economic and educational needs in our region.”
Governor Cuomo is a big supporter of the Engineering Innovation Hub as well. “The Engineering Innovation Hub is a perfect example of investments in academia that help foster business and industry partnerships, create new jobs, and ensure the next generation of leaders continue moving New York forward… This expansion continues our focus on growing high-tech industries in the mid-Hudson Valley, while providing quality jobs for men and women throughout the region,” said Governor Cuomo in a press release.
Funding for this program will be largely through NYSUNY 2020 grant money as well as the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s annual consolidated funding application.
The construction of the Engineering Innovation Hub is yet another example of how SUNY educates and trains New York’s future workforce. We recently saw this type of effort in the north country with the new Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (IAM) at Clinton Community College. As we watch these projects come to life, we will see the benefits they bring the SUNY family and regional communities of the Hudson Valley and all of New York.