Batavia, New York — ‘Timing is everything’ according to pundits, politicians and song writers, and also from the officials at the New York State Education Department, who just approved Genesee Community College’s Nanotechnology Associate in Applied Science Degree. The approval of the new two-year degree continues the community-wide excitement following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s visit to GCC’s Batavia campus last month, and his announcement of the anchor tenant, 1366 Technologies for the new WNY Science and Technology Manufacturing Park (STAMP) projected to open in 2017 in Alabama, New York.
Nanotechnology is the fascinating microscopic world seen at the atomic level and applied to an enormous variety of industries and new career opportunities. From biopharmaceuticals to biotechnology, electronics to semiconductor fabrication, material and environmental sciences to biochemistry, as well as information storage, medicine, security, and so much more—today’s nanotech students are at the cutting-edge of tomorrow’s high end careers.
GCC is not alone in preparing tomorrow’s nanotechnology workforce. The four-semester Nanotechnology AAS program includes the first three semesters at GCC, and the fourth and final semester will be taken at Erie Community College’s North Campus though a new GCC-ECC partnership that underscores the SUNY (State University of New York) seamless transfer initiative.
In addition, officials at area high schools are already excited about the prospects for their students, and in fact, a special Open House and announcement is planned on Wednesday, November 18 from 6:30-8:30 PM at the WNY Tech Academy at the Byron-Bergen Junior and Senior High School at 6917 West Bergen Road in Bergen. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.)
GCC’s Nanotechnology students will study electronic device and circuit behavior, basic chemistry, biology and physics, as well as the fabrication techniques used to create micron and submicron scale structures. Techniques covered include reactive ion etching, metallization, thick and thin film deposition and photolithography. This skill set will lead nanotech graduates to jobs as technologists in biology, chemistry, electrical engineering, medical and clinical laboratories, and information technology. They will have the option of working in private industry, public government agencies, the military, and aggressive young start-up companies. It is no surprise that 9,000 new jobs are estimated over the next 20 years at the new STAMP facility in Alabama.
“Rapid growth in nanotechnology is creating a strong demand for technicians with training in microscopic fabrication techniques with experience using clean room procedures. We will provide our students with necessary experience to succeed in this burgeoning new industry, and be ready for the new jobs that are nearly in our own backyards,” said Dr. Rafael Alicea-Maldonado, dean of GCC’s Math, Science and Career Education. “And of course, any student who wants to continue his or her education to the next level will have a globally recognized and highly transferrable SUNY degree.”
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