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  • Regional education hub announced

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  • The chip fabrication plant proposed for Marcy is going to need a lot of employees. And those employees are going to need excellent math and science skills.
    A new regional initiative announced Friday is intended to boost the area’s science, technology, engineering and math programs, ensuring that students have the skills to compete in the new manufacturing industries.
    The initiative, titled the Greater Mohawk Valley STEM Hub, is part of the larger state network and is crucial to attracting and retaining the skilled workers the region will need, said Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES District Superintendent Howard Mettelman.
    “We must meet the increasing demand for engineers, scientists and technically skilled workers through innovative teaching and regional collaboration,” Mettelman said. “The Greater Mohawk Valley STEM Hub is one step forward for our region in closing the gap to develop more of the talent in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.”
    BOCES announced the plan at the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council meeting at SUNYIT. The council represents Oneida, Herkimer, Montgomery, Schoharie, Otsego and Fulton counties.
    The program will focus on several initiatives including:
    • Project-based instruction to elementary and middle school students.
    • High school courses blending virtual and project-based opportunities.
    • Providing professional learning opportunities under the BOCES umbrella for educators to extend their STEM knowledge and experience.
    • Promoting and coordinating the region’s school and business alliance assets so students can explore 21st-century careers and education paths.
    Before the meeting, the council also voted on its list of priority projects for this year’s round of competitive state funding.
    The list won’t be made public until Sept. 24, however.
    The council also received updates Friday on the chip fabrication plant announcement at the Marcy Nanocenter and an initiative by Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, D-Utica, for co-packaging.
    The co-packaging initiative, nicknamed Project Foodie, aims to build a relationship between companies in the Mohawk Valley and food companies in Brooklyn.
    The idea is partly based on the relationship between F.X. Matt Brewing Co. and Brooklyn Brewery. Smaller downstate-based food companies often need help packaging all their products, Brindisi said.
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