“We have seen a strong trend for workforce development programs in our area, both at local community colleges and in public schools through their career and technical education programs. Colleges are investing in building new facilities to accommodate these programs, taking advantage of the opportunity to partner with the business community to fund them,” Onderdonk says about the Troy, N.Y., region.
“The Gene Haas Center for Advanced Manufacturing Skills currently under construction at Hudson Valley Community College is a great example of this,” he notes. “The Advanced Manufacturing Technology program it will house has a 100% job placement rate, with nearly all students securing work prior to graduation.”
The reason for this trend is similar to the AEC industry’s own workforce challenges.
“With the booming economy, employers in our area are experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates for open positions,” Onderdonk says. “These employers are turning to educational institutions. … The colleges are partnering with the business community to identify the skills needed and create programs to fill those needs. Often, they find they need to build or renovate to create space for these much needed programs.”
Firm in Focus
CHA Consulting Inc.
575 Broadway, Ste. 301, Albany, N.Y.
CEO and President: Mike Carroll
What’s New: CHA is leading the team designing a $35-million, five-level, 1,000-car parking garage at Albany International Airport, scheduled to open in March 2020. The garage is linked to the existing terminal via a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge. An access ramp leads to the third-level main entrance. Additional features include solar panels located on the pedestrian bridge and a state-of-the art PARCS System with automated space detection, real-time monitoring and license plate readers for ticketless entry. With existing buildings at the building site and close proximity to the airport, there are many underground utilities such as stormwater and glycol lines, electric underground duct bank and fiber optics. Removing and rerouting these utilities are required to drive 485 H-piles through an artesian water condition and down to bedrock, say company project managers.