As he looked through the brochures he was holding, Anthony Harvey liked what he was seeing: information about a college of technology that offered more than 70 hands-on majors and paths to a brighter future.
Having recently lost his job as a mechanic due to a factory closing and shipping operations overseas, Harvey, 49, found himself at a career fair searching for a solution as to what his next step in life would be. As it turns out, the answer was right in his hands: Alfred State.
Intrigued by multiple majors, Harvey, a Cameron resident, ultimately decided to enroll in Alfred State’s air conditioning and heating technology program, where he learned about all phases of residential and commercial installation, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair.
While in this two-year major, he received numerous valuable hands-on experiences, including the opportunity to participate in the 2015 US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, CA. This competition challenged collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.
While in California, Harvey served as the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technician for Team Alfred, which consisted of both Alfred State and Alfred University students.
“It was a phenomenal experience,” he said. “I loved it. I never would have gotten to do that if I hadn’t come to Alfred State.”
Harvey excelled in the air conditioning and heating technology major, becoming an Honors Program student and graduating with a 4.0 GPA. He then re-enrolled in the college’s technology management major, which is preparing him to someday own his own business or take on a managerial or supervisory role.
“The college has helped me immensely, and not just because of the degrees that I’m earning,” he said. “It’s also helped me grow as a person.”
Helping him afford college was the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program established under the Trade Act of 1974, which allowed him to receive $10,000 toward tuition per year for up to two years. This program’s ongoing mission is to provide trade-affected workers with the opportunity to obtain new in-demand skills that will, in turn, lead to suitable employment.
These days, Anthony is one of three Harvey family members attending Alfred State: his son, Austin, and daughter, Kylie, are both enrolled in the computer information systems major there. The trio carpool to and from school daily, and spend hours studying, working on homework together, or just chatting about their day.
“Having the chance to come to school with both of my children is something I’m never going to get back,” he said. “I would never have gotten this opportunity to spend time with my kids this much if I had went out and gotten another job instead of going to college.”
For any adults considering going to college like he did, Harvey offers encouragement by saying, “It’s nothing but rewarding and you’re not going to regret it.” Looking back on his decision to attend Alfred State, Harvey is positive he made the right choice, as he feels he is now well prepared for that next phase of his life.
“I’m living proof,” he said. “If you apply yourself, good things happen.”