July 03, 2014
What's new with nano? 'Exciting things are on the horizon'
By: Elizabeth Cooper
Source: Utica Observer-Dispatch
The opening of the Computer Chip Commercialization
Center at SUNYIT is in about six months, and officials say the project
is on track.
But as announcements about other projects
generated by SUNYIT’s partner, the College of Nanoscale Science and
Engineering, have been popping up across the state, it’s easy to wonder
if the region has been forgotten.
And questions linger about
several elements of the nanotechnology project, known as Quad-C, and the
one at the neighboring site being formed for a chip fabrication plant:
* Is there another job fair in the works for the Quad-C? Officials
said one would come in June, but nothing has been announced.
* What were the results of the job fair that took place in April?
* So far there are no takers for the manufacturing site, but are there any new developments there?
* What progress has been made in getting the required Army Corps of Engineers wetland mitigation permits for the site?
Alain Kaloyeros, chief executive officer in charge of the newly
merged SUNYIT and NanoCollege, said local residents and job-seekers
should not be worried.
“The Nano Utica initiative is
proceeding extremely well,” he said in an email. “The governor
personally is involved in guiding it. And more exciting things are on
The $1.5 billion Quad-C is a partnership among
the state and several private companies. About 1,500 jobs are expected
to be generated there. The chip manufacturing site could one day become
home to three plants with as many as 4,500 jobs.
NanoCollege spokesman Jerry Gretzinger said though the expected second job fair has yet to be scheduled, it is in the works.
“The governor has requested that we hold it after normal work hours
so people who were unable to get there before will be able to,” he said.
He did not provide any information about how many people had been
hired out of the 1,700 applicants who came to the April fair. That event
was meant to recruit for the first 300 jobs, which will be state-paid.
Interviews also were conducted by the facility’s private partners.
The next event will look to fill the next 300, Gretzinger said.
Representatives for companies planning to locate at Quad-C said they were happy with the applicant pool.
The chief operating officer for the site’s employment behemoth,
Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions Inc., said the company had been
impressed by those who came to the job fair and plans to start hiring in
“The passion for this kind of thing is there,” Edmundo Ruiz said. “You can see that.”
He said they already are in negotiations for orders for products that will be made at Quad C.
The company already has started ordering the equipment for the
fabrication facility, which isn’t yet complete. The first hires will be
for a core team of experienced engineers and some support technicians.
As operations ramp up, more people will be hired, and he hopes that
within the next two years as many as 1,000 people will work for the
company’s Quad-C operations.
Steve Janack, a spokesman for Valutek, said the company is culling through the resumes and other information from the event.
“From what we have seen so far, we have been impressed by the
quantity and quality of the applicants,” he said. “We are looking for
individuals who are highly skilled but also have a can-do attitude, and
we are seeing those traits.”
Valutek is looking for about 25
people with tech and manufacturing skills, as well as people with sales
and business development backgrounds. Hires might be made in the fall,
Jim Pascarell, president of Nfrastructure, which
provides information technology services for the high-tech world, said
his company is following a similar timeline and is looking to fill up to
“There is always potential for more,” he said.
As for the Army Corps permits, which have been a holdup for the chip
fabrication site for years, the Corps’ Buffalo office spokesman said
there is progress.
“We have made significant progress on
stream mitigation and are continuing to process the permit application,”
he said in an email.