Thanks to a $3.2 million grant received in 2014 from the Buffalo Billion initiative, and an expansion project led by Alfred State, students at Burgard High School are getting an even greater head start on college and a leg up toward landing a successful career.
Through an advanced manufacturing early college program that started in 2014, Alfred State and Buffalo’s Burgard High School are preparing students for rewarding careers in high-demand fields. This fall, as a result of the expansion project, which was funded by the Buffalo Billion initiative, students will be utilizing newly renovated machine tool and auto labs at Burgard, along with a state-of-the-art welding lab to facilitate even more students.
Craig Clark, PE, PhD, vice president for Economic Development at Alfred State, said, “The college is proud to lead the project, and the results are starting to show how we are really changing lives. The faculty at Burgard and Alfred State are truly making a real difference in students’ lives and supplying a qualified workforce for companies in the region.”
Through this partnership, Burgard teachers and Alfred State instructors train students in skills such as automotive technology, welding, and machine tool technology. The initiative grew out of Empire State Development’s Buffalo Billion Investment to bridge the gap in workforce needs by aligning Buffalo’s training system with the career paths, certificates, and degrees required for growth in core industries, such as manufacturing.
Being a comprehensive college of technology with four- and two-year programs across the spectrum in advanced manufacturing, Alfred State is a critical academic partner in this initiative and has enhanced the curriculum at Burgard while providing associate degrees to students who complete a 13th year.
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul toured Burgard High School in celebration of the grant, and later complimented the program while visiting Alfred State. She emphasized the importance of preparing students for employers who are seeking manufacturing and STEM-related skills.
“A lot of (students) become inspired to know the great possibility they have to change the world through using the skills they can learn with a STEM degree,” Hochul told a room full of educators assembled at the college for the 2017 New York State STEM Summer Institute. “That’s why I get so fired up about this.”