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SUNY & JCC Celebrate Inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Technician Graduating Class

(l-r): Kate W. Alcott, Associate Director, Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center, SUNY Polytechnic Institute; Terrence H. Harris, Dean of Continuing Education and Community Outreach, Jefferson Community College; Dr. Bahgat G. Sammakia, President, SUNY Polytechnic Institute; Nicolas R. Higginbotham, Veteran; Floyd L. Haley, Veteran; Karl W. Knowlton, Veteran; Peter X. Stephenson, Veteran; Major General Walter E. Piatt, Commanding General, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum; Dr. Kristina M. Johnson, SUNY Chancellor; Brian C. Sharpe, Veteran; Ambassador Carl Spielvogel, SUNY Board of Trustees; Justin A. Zlokas, Veteran; Jazzeel M. Millena, Veteran; Dustin W. Barlow, Veteran; Michael J. Henault, Veteran; Dr. Robert Geer, Director, Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center, SUNY Polytechnic Institute; Dr. Ty A. Stone, President, Jefferson Community College; Johanna Duncan-Poitier, Senior Vice Chancellor, Community Colleges and the Education Pipeline. Unavailable for photo: Mughees Ahmed, Veteran.

On January 24, 2018, SUNY Board of Trustee Ambassador Carl Spielvogel, SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum Major General Walter E. Piatt, and leadership officials from Jefferson Community College (JCC), Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), and SUNY Poly gathered on JCC's campus to recognize soon to be transitioning veterans, who successfully completed Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) training.

Made possible with the generous contribution of a private donor, a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant administered through SUNY Poly’s Northeast Advanced Technology Education Center (NEATEC), and a partnership with JCC and MVCC, 10 students who are currently soldiers at Fort Drum had the opportunity to participate in a new intensive 56-hour industry quality workforce development program for 21st Century jobs in advanced manufacturing. Working with six major employers, this program was launched to help prepare soldiers prior to discharge for high demand fields and/or continued education.

SUNY Trustee Ambassador Spielvogel spoke about his time in the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force Reserves and described the unique bond the servicemen and women share that comes with serving the nation in the armed services. He also spoke candidly how hebelieves society and the federal government have not historically provided enough support to the men and women who put their lives on the line defending this country. Trustee Ambassador Spielvogel emphasized to the servicemen who completed the advanced manufacturing program this is one way SUNY is committed to helping veterans and their fellow servicemen and women transition from the military to the civilian workforce, and he hopes to do more. He and Chancellor Johnson believe this is a model that can be replicated across SUNY to serve the thousands of soldiers and veterans attending SUNY colleges by providing the proper training and connecting them with partners in industry.

SUNY Chancellor Johnson said, “I am grateful to honor the first class of graduates of the Advanced Manufacturing Training program, which will create strong partnerships with local organizations and provide technical training to our veterans, as well as prepare them for jobs in an industry with a strong future in New York State. This program would not have been possible without the financial support and partnership of Trustee Ambassador Spielvogel, and the collaboration of Jefferson Community College, Mohawk Valley Community College, and SUNY Poly. We are proud to celebrate our first graduating class as we thank them for their service to our country.”

The 10 U.S. Army soldiers, who were the first to complete this program include: Mughees Ahmed, Dustin W. Barlow, Floyd L. Haley, Michael J. Henault, Nicholas R. Higginbotham, Karl W. Knowlton, Jazzeel M. Millena, Brian C. Sharpe, Peter X. Stephenson, and Justin A. Zlokas.

The transitioning soldiers began the intensive two-week advanced manufacturing training on January 8, 2018 consisting of hands-on advanced manufacturing practices, pneumatics and mechatronics at Jefferson and Mohawk Valley Community College.

"As we celebrate the success of our students today, it is especially gratifying to know that the training program they have completed was the result of a strong collaboration between two community colleges, Jefferson and Mohawk Valley, and SUNY Poly," said Dr. Ty A. Stone, president of Jefferson Community College. "I am proud of the work that has been done to serve Fort Drum soldiers as they prepare to transition from the military and seek gainful employment in a civilian workforce."

Companies around the state showing shown support of the program include Allied Motion, Watertown, Anaren Microwave, Syracuse, Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar NY, Buffalo, Indium Corporation, Clinton, GlobalFoundries, Malta, Bartell Machinery, Rome, HMI Metal Powders Pratt & Whitney, Clayville, and Danfoss Silicon Power US, Utica.