October 07, 2011

High-Tech Center STC Goes To FLCC To Train Workers

By: Tom Tobin, Staff Writer

Source: Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

The two-week program, to be launched in January at FLCC, will train people to be clean-room operators at STC, the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center, which is affiliated with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University at Albany.

Clean rooms are the highly controlled settings where precise production and manufacturing work on the "nano," or microscopic, scale is done.

The training program will include classes at FLCC's Victor Campus Center and on-the-job training at the STC Center. Graduates will be prepared for entry-level work at the center. Pay for those positions is in the range of $10 to $12 an hour.

Tuition is $780, including all course materials.

Entry into the program requires completion of orientation sessions set for 9 a.m. on Oct. 18 and 25, and on Nov. 1 and 8 at FLCC.

STC executive director Paul Tolley said the training immediately will benefit Moser Baer Technologies Inc., which is renovating part of the STC to serve as a production line for organic light-emitting diode light panels. OLED lights use less energy and represent the next generation of artificial lighting.

"We're very excited about the relationship with FLCC," Gopalan Rajeswaran, CEO of Moser Baer Technologies, said during the groundbreaking for the OLED production line. The company said it expects to hire graduates from the local program for its OLED operation.

"Moser Baer Technologies anticipates hiring three trained, qualified clean-room operators beginning in the first quarter of 2012," said David Newman, vice president of the company.

"Over the next two years, as we ramp up our pilot line activities, we anticipate the need to hire additional qualified clean-room operators and other staff," Newman said.

STC recently announced that it is installing a state-of-the-art wafer production line that will allow it to benefit directly from a multibillion-dollar deal Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week with IBM, GlobalFoundries, Samsung and other high-tech companies to do more computer chip research, development and manufacturing in upstate New York.

The deal is expected to bring 300 jobs to STC, a number Tolley said is likely to grow as more production comes to the center.

"I foresee more local colleges and universities having this sort of academic program leading to jobs," Tolley said.

"Currently, there isn't a great pool of potential employees in the region trained in clean-room operations."

Tolley added that STC's connection to the University at Albany facilitated the arrangement with FLCC, which is part of the state university system.