Local leaders have dubbed our area Tech Valley and are trying to make it a leader in green energy education. Our C.J. Spang has more.
MALTA, N.Y. -- Local education and business leaders converged at Hudson Valley Community College's TEC-SMART facility to discuss training and education needs for students interested in green energy related fields.
"Education is the key. No longer are you going to be able to find jobs with just a high school diploma. Most of the jobs require at least an associate's degree. And these technology jobs are the same thing," said HVCC President Dr. Andrew Matonak.
"We're talking about job creation, energy independence and something that's going to help the environment long term. This is really an opportunity for our area, tech valley, to lead and to dominate in the 21st century," said Representative Chris Gibson.
HVCC is working closely with area high schools to develop programs that foster green energy education and give students a head start.
"The possibilities for our youth to go to college here, to stay here after college, to have meaningful jobs, 21st century manufacturing jobs, this is very important," Gibson said.
TEC-SMART also dedicated its new General Electric Wind Technology Lab, which features two wind turbines and related components donated by GE, a prime example of the future in green energy related fields.
"We have a tremendous demand for new technicians to service the wind turbines that we're deploying around the world. And these colleges, at the community college level, we find are a perfect feeder for the kind of talent and technical skills we're looking at to come into that," said Dan Lance of General Electric.
HVCC says it's important for the college to have partnerships with business and industry to create relevant educational programs.