SUNY New Paltz welcomed SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson and other leaders in government, business and higher education to campus to break ground on a new Engineering Innovation Hub, a state-of-the-art facility that will help support and diversify the College’s rapidly growing engineering programs and support collaboration between the College and local industry.
“Today we celebrate the culmination of so many individual efforts, from both inside and outside the campus, to launch an exciting new project,” said President Donald P. Christian. “The groundbreaking of our new Engineering Innovation Hub represents a clear example of what we can achieve in the interest of our students and the Hudson Valley region through vision, advocacy, collaboration and perseverance.”
The nearly 19,500-square-foot academic building was made possible thanks to a $10 million award from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NYSUNY2020 grant program, which supports plans to improve economic development in New York State. The College was also awarded $1 million through the Governor’s Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council’s annual Consolidated Funding Application.
“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,” Governor Cuomo said. “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.”
The investment is projected to yield an overall economic impact of more than $75 million, and 195 jobs, over a 10-year period.
“Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s visionary NYSUNY 2020 program, we are able to build Engineering Innovation Hubs such as this one at SUNY New Paltz, attracting new industries and educating a uniquely prepared workforce that contributes to the vibrancy of our state and local communities,” said Chancellor Johnson, whose academic background is in electrical engineering. “Congratulations to President Christian and the entire SUNY New Paltz community. This cutting-edge facility will be a tremendous reflection of your hard work, ingenuity and advocacy.”
The Engineering Innovation Hub will house the new bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering, the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center (HVAMC), the College’s 3D design and printing program, and space to support businesses participating in START-UP NY, the Governor’s economic development incentive program.
Each of these initiatives directly addresses the region’s need for talented engineers, helps local businesses grow and prepares students to thrive in forward-looking careers, right here in the Hudson Valley.
“When I step into the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center, I am a student, but I feel like a professional,” said Garrett Noach ’18 (Mechanical Engineering) of Brewster, N.Y., an intern in the HVAMC. “From doing set-ups on machines used for printing medical models, to testing 3D printed materials used in industry, I have worked to solve real problems for companies and applied skills that complement what I have learned in the classroom.”
The project builds on a legacy of engineering programs at SUNY New Paltz that began in 1984, when then-Governor Mario Cuomo, father of the current Governor, supported the creation of an undergraduate engineering program at New Paltz.
“SUNY New Paltz is a major economic driver for the entire Mid-Hudson region, and I commend the Governor for investing in this campus expansion and supporting the development and growth of our youngest New Yorkers,” said New York State Senator John Bonacic. “By offering hands-on experience with next generation technology, students will be better prepared to enter New York’s workforce, while supporting the continued growth of this entire state.”
“We are fortunate to have a nationally renowned institution of higher education such as SUNY New Paltz here in Ulster County and the Innovation Engineering Hub highlights SUNY New Paltz’s role as an integral partner in creating cutting-edge technology,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for investing in our students by providing the funding necessary to help make the Hub a reality. I also want to thank President Donald Christian for his leadership by creating a program that will produce the engineers of tomorrow.”
The Engineering Innovation Hub was designed by Urbahn Architects of New York, N.Y., and is projected to be completed by summer 2019.