“We’re grateful to Governor Cuomo for his support of our efforts at SUNY New Paltz to educate more engineering students, support workforce development and enhance economic development in the Hudson Valley. We’re excited about this opportunity to strengthen our role in SUNY’s mission to be an economic driver in New York,” said New Paltz President Donald Christian in an email to students.The funding will be used to help establish an “engineering innovation hub” on campus which will feature a 20,000-square-foot building housing engineering equipment to support the university’s engineering program and companies partnered with New Paltz through its 3-D printing program, according to the email to students.
The NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program focuses on job creation through the partnering of SUNY schools and the private sector.
In the current round of Challenge Grant funding, $55 million has been given to five SUNY institutions, including $6 million to Broome Community College to expand and innovate entrepreneurship programs, and $5.75 million to Erie County Community College to establish a new Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nanotechnology, according to the Governor’s Office.
All the funding is directed towards STEM programs — those teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
STEM fields have been a focus of the Cuomo education program. Cuomo announced the New York State STEM Incentive Program last May, which would provide a full scholarship to attend SUNY or CUNY STEM programs for any New York state high school student in the top 10 percent of their class. The student would have to agree to work in STEM fields in New York state for five years after graduation to receive the scholarship.
“The number of students majoring in most STEM fields at SUNY New Paltz more than doubled in the past five years,” said Dan Freedman, dean of New Paltz’s School of Science and Engineering.
The funding will expand the college’s electrical and computing engineering majors, as well as the college’s innovative 3-D printing program, Freedman said.
This story has been republished from The Legislative Gazette.