Tech Valley News
Aerospace Workforce Strategy in Place
The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce has announced the completion of a multi-faceted regional strategy for meeting the current and future workforce needs of the aerospace and transportation equipment sectors in Tech Valley. The strategic plan was created by the Chamber's Aerospace and Transportation Equipment Workforce Development Task Force, which includes the following partners:
- Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce
- North Country Regional Workforce Investment Board
- Clinton Community College
- CV-TEC/Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute
- Plattsburgh State University
- Clarkson University, Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering Department
"These related industrial sectors are already significant in the region," said Garry Douglas, Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce president, pointing to companies such as Pratt & Whitney Canada and Bombardier. "But much more is on the horizon at Plattsburgh International Airport and other regional locations if we do the right things ahead of the curve, which is what this strategic endeavor is all about."
The plan features a comprehensive agenda of projects and services, including:
- Further support for the start-up of Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute in 2008.
- Reestablishment of an electronics program at Clinton Community College, including new lab equipment and a new faculty position.
- New certificate programs in several related fields at CV-TEC and Clinton Community College.
- Specialized courses by Clarkson University in Plattsburgh, as well as technical support opportunities and internships.
- Establishment of a P-18 council in the North Country through Champlain Valley Educational Services.
- Organization of a Global and Cross Border Supply Chain Management Conference at Plattsburgh State University, furthering access to key supply chain expertise and best practices.
- Development of new out-of-area recruitment tools and activities through the Chamber and Regional Workforce Investment Board.
The plan has been submitted to the N.Y.S. Labor Department in response to a request for proposals for "Regional Economic Transformation Strategies Through a Sector or Clustered Based Approach." The task force is seeking $500,000 in state funding to help underwrite implementation of the multi-faceted strategy starting in 2008. The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber is acting as the applicant and coordinator on behalf of the partners and with the endorsement of the Regional Workforce Investment Board.
"This is a remarkably integrated approach to workforce development, and it will position us strongly for meeting our economic aims," Douglas said. "Indeed, we have four prospects now looking at our area who are involved in aerospace activity or transportation equipment manufacturing. We have directly involved each of them in developing this plan, and the fact that we did so and that we now have such a pro-active strategy has already made us more competitive."
The Aerospace and Transportation Equipment Task Force is part of the Chamber's commitment to strategic economic development in the region. It is chaired and coordinated by Susan Matton, the Chamber's Vice President for Economic Development.