Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $6.6 million in Round IV NYSUNY 2020
funding will be awarded to establish the Infrastructure, Transportation and Security
Center at Farmingdale State College. The Center will take an academic focus on strengthening
security at regional infrastructure and transportation systems and train students
in related fields of study.
"As terrorism continues to threaten our way of life, we must do all we can to stay vigilant and strengthen our defenses," Governor Cuomo said. "The new Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center will be key in ensuring that the security experts of tomorrow are prepared with the best possible training and resources needed to keep us safe."
The Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center will be run in partnership with Stony Brook University and Nassau Community College. The three schools will contribute a combined $21 million in matching funds.
As part of the Center's creation, Farmingdale State College will hire up to 20 teaching and research faculty in the next five years and establish new research and academic programs, including graduate and undergraduate level courses and skill-based training programs. The college will also expand and create new partnerships with public agencies and private companies. Through field visits and high school outreach programs, the Center will educate under-represented students for possible careers in this field.
The Center is expected to be fully implemented by 2020 and construction and maintenance of the new building will create an estimated 150 new jobs.
Lieutenant Governor Kathleen C. Hochul said, "A secure and reliable transportation network in New York City is critical to economic growth both in the State and across the country. The Center establishes New York State and Farmingdale State College as leaders in how we meet the challenges of fighting terrorism and today's 'new normal.' This is going to attract students from all over the country who want to take advantage of this unique program at a time when security must be layered into the planning and execution of transportation infrastructure projects."
Preparing Students for Careers of Tomorrow
The transportation industry is a vital element to the nation's future progress and economic growth. The focus of Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center is to provide proper education and training in infrastructure planning and to develop standardized training in security areas for New York State, with a pipeline of highly skilled workers who are "job ready" upon graduation.
The Center will collaborate with the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council to form partnerships to provide job pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Building Upon Existing Strengths
Farmingdale State College is the only SUNY institution offering dedicated baccalaureate programs in security systems and aviation administration. Under the umbrella of the Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center, new baccalaureate programs in computer security technology and airport and rail security management will join existing programs in security systems, architecture and construction management and aviation administration.
Existing partnerships include the Aviation Center at Republic Airport, which will serve as the primary hub for training and educational offerings as well as for the research and development of air flight security technology and protocols. The Aviation Center averages 5,800 flight hours a year, and more than 5 FAA Certification Rides and 20 Student Progression/Stage Checks per month.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, "NYSUNY 2020 continues to support innovation, learning, and job training for our students while strengthening the economic impact that our campuses have in communities throughout the state," said. "The ITSC will not only enhance the educational experience for our students and faculty, but also support SUNY's contribution to a safe, secure, and sustainable infrastructure for New York. Congratulations to our college communities at Farmingdale, Nassau, and Stony Brook on this much-deserved grant."
Farmingdale State College President W. Hubert Keen said, "Creating an Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center (ITSC) through the SUNY 2020 Challenge Grant provides an exceptional opportunity for our faculty and students to be on the front line of protecting our economic and national security. The faculty and staff of Farmingdale are uniquely qualified to conduct research and provide workforce training in support of the ITSC."
Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, said, "Stony Brook University is excited to be part of this new initiative. Our programs
in computer science, information technology, and the newly created Department of Civil
Engineering are well-poised to translate new discoveries into innovative approaches
that improve our transportation infrastructure and ensure the safety and security
of the built environment. An undergraduate center such as ITSC will provide Long Island
and the nation with an educational program that encompasses the latest curriculum,
certificate programs, and research projects. By leveraging the large-scale computer
vision capabilities that already exist at Stony Brook, the ITSC will be able to complete
research and provide educational opportunities in the areas of visual inspection of
rail images as well as other critical pieces of transportation infrastructure such
as bridges, tunnels, and underpasses."
Dr. Thomas Dolan, Interim President of Nassau Community College said, "Nassau Community College is eager to participate in this project. With its emphasis on transportation and security, it focuses on issues of strategic importance and every day significance to all Long Islanders."
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, "This grant funding, as part of SUNY 2020, will help prepare our students for a rewarding career while also building a skilled workforce that will help shape our region for years to come. By bringing these enhanced educational opportunities right to Long Island, our already high-quality educational institutions will be able to provide today’s young students with even greater access to the tools they need to succeed and that will allow our young people to build successful careers which will enable them to remain in the area. Along with Senator Venditto, I applaud the state’s investment in our young men and women, and thank the academic leaders On Long Island who are joining together to enhance the education our students receive."
Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci, Ranking Member on the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, said, "The SUNY2020 program and the $6.6 million grant awarded to Farmingdale State College will allow our students to expand their academic horizons and enter growing fields like engineering, transportation and security. This new center will not only impact students who major in these fields, but also make Long Island and all of New York State more prepared and better fortified against any future threats to our safety. Along with Majority Leader Flanagan and Senator Venditto, I would like to applaud the academic leaders throughout our state and on Long Island for their dedication to bringing new programs to our thriving SUNY system."
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano said, "This project is great news for Nassau County and our whole region. By investing
in sustainable infrastructure research and advanced training now, we are better equipping
today’s students to be the industry leaders of tomorrow."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "As always, Governor Cuomo is taking the lead in providing funding opportunities to prepare our young adults for careers of the future. Not only will this endeavor provide the technical training needed for students to pursue careers in transportation, security systems and protocols and aviation but this initiative also provides the opportunity to create jobs right here in Suffolk County."