Weekly Feature

2017-02-15 / Business

ECC officially opens nanotechnology building

Erie Community College officials, faculty and staff joined Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and other officials on Friday for a celebration of the school’s $5.75 million Center for Nanotechnology Studies on the North Campus.

“ECC continues to be a leader in providing career-focused education for students pursuing professional opportunity,” ECC President Jack Quinn said in a press release. “In recent years, STEM-related job opportunities have multiplied not only across the country, but right here in our Buffalo backyard. Starting today, we’ll be able to train students for these industries in this new facility.”

STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and math.

The energy-efficient building

— funded primarily by money secured in September 2015 through the State University of New York’s 2020 Challenge Grant Program — will house ECC’s nanotechnology Associate in Applied Science degree program. According to the release, students have already begun training in the space.

The press release further said that with features informed by educational partners Genesee Community College and Penn State University, the space was designed to help prepare students for career opportunities in burgeoning Western New York fields such as semiconductor manufacturing, biotechnology and environmental science.

“Within the next seven years, 3.5 million jobs in NYS will require at least an associate degree, like the new Associate

Degree of Applied Science in Nanotechnology here at Erie Community College,” Hochul said. “These students will graduate with a highly specialized skill, and they are going to walk out with their diplomas and walk right into new jobs.”

According to the press release, the Center for Nanotechnology Studies provides approximately 6,100 square feet of new learning space; $1.5 million in fabrication and characterization equipment, and 36 solar roof panels to provide clean power; and a state-of-the-art energy recovery system to reduce heating and cooling costs and energy usage.

Additionally, the building also boasts network capabilities through the Remote Access Instruments for Nanotechnology network to collaborate on training with students across the country and the state’s only community college-hosted clean room for manipulating particles within an advanced manufacturing process.

“ECC offers one of only three available semiconductor manufacturing associate degree programs in New York, and it is now the first and only community college to provide learning experiences to students in a clean room for manipulating particles as part of an advanced manufacturing process,” said state Sen. Michael H. Ranzenhofer.

“I am pleased that the state’s $5.75 million commitment has helped to make it happen,” he said. “The new nanotechnology annex is another educational tool for our students to get the skills they need to secure a STEM-related job.”

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