Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-chair Visits ASC

Alfred State College hosted Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the New York Department of State (NYSDOS), and Southern Tier West Regional Development and Planning Board (STW) representatives on Wednesday, July 28, at the School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville. The visitors met with ASC officials to review their partnerships with Alfred State College.

Visitors included Earl F. Gohl who was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 10, 2010 as federal co-chair of the ARC. He is the 11th federal co-chair to be appointed since the Commission was established by an act of Congress in 1965. George Korchowsky, Land Use Training Specialist (LUTS II) with the Department of State’s Division of Local Government working for the New York State Appalachian Regional Commission, accompanied the federal co-chair on the Alfred State College visit.

“We are delighted to host these visitors to our campus so they can view the tangible results of our partnerships,” noted Alfred State College President Dr. John M. Anderson. “I am also confident that they will be assured by their visit that their support has allowed Alfred State to lead the way in alternative energy training.”

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. Established by an act of Congress in 1965, ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who is appointed by the president. Local participation is provided through multi-county local development districts. In New York State the ARC works with the NYS Department of State and Southern Tier West. ARC funds projects that address the four goals identified in the Commission's strategic plan, including the two most relevant to ASC: increasing job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation and strengthening the capacity of the people of Appalachia to compete in the global economy.

Southern Tier West is one of 71 Local Development Districts (LDD) designated by ARC. As an LDD, Southern Tier West oversees the direction and coordination of all ARC-funded economic and social development in the three-county region. Southern Tier West's mission is to help coordinate and enhance planning and development activities in Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua counties so as to promote social, physical, and economic development in these counties.

Since 1996 Alfred State College has partnered with Southern Tier West, New York Department of State, and the Appalachian Regional Commission on various grants totaling more than $1.3 million. These grants have focused on increasing job opportunities and strengthening capacity through development of new laboratories, expertise, and programs. This has included grants in the areas of welding, CNC machine tool, computer technology, historic restoration and renovation, automated manufacturing laboratory, heavy equipment operation, advanced diesel laboratory, renewable energy institute, and green building laboratory.

The college has successfully leveraged these resources by working with industry and other agencies. Well over $4 million in grants from other sources has been awarded to ASC based upon these ARC grants. A recent example is the renewable energy ARC grant that allowed the college to develop its expertise in small wind and photovoltaic systems. The expertise and facilities developed by the ARC grant were used to win a $2.1 million NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) grant last year to expand clean energy training in New York State through the SUNYGREENSNY consortium developed by ASC and six other partners. The last few ARC grants have stressed green technologies and the current ARC grant includes building a green home laboratory that will be powered by geothermal, solar thermal, photovoltaic, and small wind systems. A tour of this project was one of the highlights the visitors from ARC, NYSDOS, and STW enjoyed. The college will also be implementing a new alternative fuels laboratory through an ARC grant in the fall of 2010 that was also discussed during the tour.

The relationships with the ARC, STW, the NYSDOS and the ARC grants have allowed the college to develop and institute many innovative workforce development programs. The latest grants have focused on developing green programs before they were popular.

“The College’s ‘green home’ is a very impressive project,” said Gohl during his visit here. “The ARC is interested in funding projects that create jobs and brighter economic futures for the people in the Appalachian states. Alfred State College continues to develop programs and produce graduates that help make that goal a reality.”

“These types of programs are critical for the economic development, business retention, and retention of our youth by developing the latest job skills," said Craig Clark, dean of Applied Technology and principal author the ARC grants.

ARC, NYSDOS, and STW representatives visit on July 28, 2010In photo, l-r:
Alfred State College Assistant Professors Glenn Brubaker and Jeffrey Stevens, Electrician and Computer Technician Department; Guy Land, chief of staff, Appalachian Regional Commission; Dr. Steven Havlovic, ASC vice president for Academic Affairs; Richard Zink, executive director, Southern Tier West regional planning committee; Craig Clark, dean, School of Applied Technology, Alfred State College; Earl Gohl, federal co-chair, Appalachian Regional Commission; Dr. John M. Anderson, president, Alfred State College; Kyle Wilber, Appalachian Regional Commission program manager for NYS Department of State; and George Korchowsky, assistant program manager, NYS Department of State.