ORCHARD PARK—Erie Community College has been recognized as a western New York leader in career-focused education and workforce development. If their latest facility development off South Campus is any indication, they’ll soon be acknowledged as the region’s leader in green building technology training as well.
On Thursday, September 12, ECC officials joined state, county and federal representatives to unveil the college’s state-of-the-art, renewable and energy efficient Green Building Technology Center with a morning press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Abbott Road facility’s grounds near the college’s South Campus.
“(ECC) Workforce Development leveraged our training expertise with multiple government partners to provide funding for energy efficient and renewable energy training,” said Carrie Kahn, ECC’s Executive Dean of Workforce Development. “This fabulous Green Building Technology Center provides the college with a unique opportunity to train students and employees in new energy emerging industries. We are now the showcase for western New York.”
Constructed and made operational by West Seneca’s Occhino Corporation, Grand Island’s Advanced Architecture and Planning, and ECC’s facilities and IT departments—in conjunction with project managers within the New York State Weatherization Directors Association (NYSWDA)—the 1,700-square-foot training center will be utilized for ECC program-related training in renewable energy and energy efficiency; enhanced, non-credit workforce development pertaining to Western New York’s emerging green building technology field; and as a showcase for local kindergarten through grade 12 STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students.
“Housing science and the dynamic of how residential buildings perform is far more complex than most people recognize,” said Andy Stone, Executive Director of NYSWDA. “This facility will allow all of us to train hard skills in a real world atmosphere and we are excited to be able to bring it to this part of the state.”
Construction of the $600,000 training facility—complete with multi-floor training rooms, an IT smart station, house Wi-Fi, and forthcoming pole-mounted solar panels—was made possible through New York State Homes and Community Renewal-assisted funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (via the U.S. Department of Energy). $185,000 of equipment and supplies were funded by a 2010 Program Opportunity Notice (PON) provided through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and $50,000 for solar transformation photovoltaic (PV) equipment and supplies through Department of Energy-directed federal stimulus money.
“To have a facility like this for our students and local workforce is truly remarkable,” said ECC President Jack Quinn. “At ECC, we’re always looking for ways to provide the best career-focused training for our neighboring residents. This Green Building Technology Center will allow us to provide such opportunities.”
Morning remarks were made by Quinn; Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz; ECC Executive Dean of Workforce Development Carrie Kahn; Assistant Commissioner of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYS HCR) Leonard Skrill; ECC Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Rick Washousky; NYS Senator Mark Grisanti; NYS Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak; and NYS Assemblyman Michael Kearns.
Since 1946, Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership.