NanoCollege plans on adding hundreds of jobs
A major expansion is planned for the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering which has already brought thousands of jobs to the Capital Region. Our Steve Ference reports on what it could mean - and how many more jobs may be coming.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- "The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering is always looking at opportunities to expand," said Steve Janack, the UAlbany NanoCollege spokesman.
Just about a decade ago, this part of the UAlbany campus was basically a field. But now it's a leader in nanotechnology.
"In April 2001, there were 70 people working on site here, about 70,000 square feet of working space. Today we have more than 800,000 square feet of space," said Janack.
And today, more than 2,500 workers. Now the latest plans look to add hundreds of jobs to new facilities that would increase the building space by hundreds of thousands of square feet.
"We're hesitant to put projections on how big it will get, but suffice it to say, nanotechnology is identified in any study you look at as one of the leading drivers of jobs of the 21st century," said Janack.
The expansion would involve a 14-acre lot already owned by the campus, away from residential areas. Because plans are still preliminary, it's unclear when the college will break ground.
And the man who coined the term "Tech Valley" says all of this is really just the beginning.
Wally Altes, the former Albany Colonie Chamber of Commerce President, said, "I think so, and one of the interesting things about jobs in nanoscience is this is really at the forefront of inventing new occupations and new jobs."
Altes said the big-time nanotech growth may also mean a reshaping of the region's economy - something we may already be seeing.
"I think it means we'll have a very different kind of future," he said. "We're moving away from being a government center. Yes, the state Capitol is going to be here, but it won't be the end-all be all of jobs."
"The investment that's been made here continues to attract high-paying high tech jobs," said Janack.
Job growth that continues - with Albany becoming the place to be in the nanotechnology field.