Obama visits UAlbany
President highlights CNSE as an example for additional jobs, economy
Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012
Updated: Sunday, June 17, 2012 14:06
President Barack Obama visited the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) at the University at Albany on May 8 to deliver a speech about the economy, focusing on the increase in jobs in the Capitol Region.
With the aid of its ambitious CEO Alain Kaloyeros, CNSE, with the help from many corporate partners, has created an estimated 13,000 jobs for all workers, and he believes that number will double in the next five years.
“Now, the reason I came here today is because this school and this community represents the future of our economy,” Obama said. “Right now, some of the most advanced manufacturing work in America is being done right here in upstate New York. Cutting-edge businesses from all over the world are deciding to build here and hire here. And you’ve got schools like this one that are training workers with the exact skills that those businesses are looking for.”
The event was held in the unfinished 50,000 square foot clean room of the NanoFab X complex. The clean room is being built to hold the technology to make faster and better computer chips on 450mm wafers.
“For the first time in history, to my knowledge, the computer chip and nanotechnology industry have put together a consortium that is run and managed by the state, by a college, not by the industry itself,” Kaloyeros said in a statement.
Students are also at the cutting edge of the new technology and working with CNSE’s many corporate partners. They have the opportunity to learn under the most prominent figures in the business and right by their side in the labs and clean rooms.
“President Obama’s visit to CNSE highlights what has been gradually occurring at the University at Albany over the past decade. Visiting CNSE will only help draw greater national and international attention to the success and hard work the students, faculty, staff and partner companies are witnessing and creating on a daily basis,” said CNSE graduate student Zachary Rice. “His visit will help shine an even larger spotlight on the revitalization efforts of upstate New York as well as the potential for further economic success of the semiconductor industry in the Capitol District for future generations.”
Obama was previously scheduled to speak at the GlobalFoundries facility, Fab 8, before the last minute change in venue to the NanoCollege. According to the White House, the NanoTech complex was a better site for a number of logistical reasons including distance, traffic and safety.
Despite the change in location, GlobalFoundries still helped to host the president’s visit to the Capitol Region. The company’s CEO, Ajit Manocha, was excited about the visit and said it highlights the success of the region and the public-private economic development initiatives in the area.
CNSE NanoFab X construction workers were told that the site would be shut down for two days because of the president’s visit on Tuesday. Union workers were confused if they would be paid for the time off or not. However, the Associated Press reported that the school is paying the hundreds of laborers who work at the site.
In preparation for the president’s visit, a significant portion of Interstate 90 in both directions was shut down as well as some of Western Avenue, the Washington Avenue Extension and Fuller Road. UAlbany students who live on Empire Commons and in the Freedom Apartments on campus also experienced some closings and delays.
Obama spoke of a “to do list” for Congress to create secure American jobs for the middle class. The list included eliminating tax incentives to ship jobs overseas, cutting the red tape for refinancing, hiring tax credit for small businesses, investing in affordable clean energy and having veterans use their military skills in the work force.
According to Obama, the only time government employment has gone down during a recession was during his presidency. Even though it is an election year, he said six months is enough time for Democrats and Republicans to get together and make decisions to create additional jobs.
“Just about every time we put these policies up for a vote, the Republicans in Congress got together and they said no,” Obama said. “They said no to putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job repairing our roads and our bridges and our schools and our transit systems. No to a new tax cut for businesses that hire new workers. No to putting more teachers back in our classrooms, more cops back on the beat, more firefighters back to work.”
The NanoCollege at UAlbany is already doing what Obama is calling on Congress to implement, creating new jobs and more opportunities for all. CNSE has created additional jobs in a range of fields, not only in technology but also in construction and repairs.