TEC-SMART tops out

Hudson Valley Community College came one step closer to opening a new, high-tech campus in Malta on Thursday, Aug. 6, as it held a steel topping out ceremony at its upcoming TEC-SMART facility, under construction at the Saratoga Technology and Energy Park.

Dignitaries signed a steel beam before it was hoisted onto the frame of the facility, becoming the installation's highest point. Those present roundly hailed the step as a triumph of partnership and innovation.

"All of us can take pride in contributing to what you see here," said William Goodrich, president and CEO of builder LeChase Construction. "We're proud and honored to be part of the team building this facility."

Other elements of that team include New York City architect Perkins+Will and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, which owns STEP. HVCC President Andrew Matonak also praised former Sen. Joseph Bruno for his role in securing grants for the $13.5 million facility.

"It was Joe Bruno who recognized the fact if we're going to attract industry like that, we need to have a strong skilled workforce," said Matonak.

Nearby, construction of GlobalFoundries's $4.2 billion microchip manufacturing facility is ongoing. One of TEC-SMART's missions is to provide training for the plant's future employees.

"We hope to be part of establishing New York state as the leader in providing for 21st century workforce demands," said Matonak.

The 42,000-square-foot installation will be host to 12 classrooms and will offer training programs in semiconductor manufacturing, alternative fuels and installation and maintenance of photovoltaic, geothermal and wind energy systems. Officials estimate 500 to 600 technicians will be trained within the next five to 10 years.

A number of liberal arts courses will also be held at TEC-SMART, allowing students who live closer to Malta than the college's Troy campus to fill requirements there.

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