January 22, 2013
By: Larry Rulison
Source: Times Union
ALBANY — Call it the battle of the tall vs. the small. The day before
the Harlem Globetrotters attract a horde of fans in Albany on Feb. 3, a
high-tech job fair is expected to draw its own crowd at the University
at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering on Saturday,
Officials are hoping to fill 300 positions.
fair held two months ago at the college, which specializes in advances
in making computer chips and other devices that use semiconductor
materials, attracted 750 people. Attendance was so strong that the
school had to ask 50 additional employees to volunteer to staff it,
double what it had planned.
The response to the November event was
not surprising given the current state of the economy and the fact that
the NanoCollege has become one of the biggest job creators in the
Capital Region with nearly 3,000 employees, many of them well-paid
technicians and engineers.
The current job openings are being
driven by recent program and facility expansions at the school,
including the Global 450mm Consortium, or G450C, which is part of a $4.8
billion research endeavor by the world's largest computer chip
companies to radically alter how chips are made.
Because of the
popularity of the last job fair and a personal interest in the high-tech
economy by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both the governor's office and the state
Department of Labor will be involved in next month's event, which will
take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the school on Fuller Road, just
south of Interstate 90.
Alain Kaloyeros, CEO of the NanoCollege,
said Cuomo personally directed the Labor Department and his office to
work with the school on the event, an arrangement that Kaloyeros says
could be a "test case" for future workforce development initiatives.
is part of making state agencies and academic institutions work
together to leverage each other's resources," Kaloyeros said. "He
(Cuomo) wanted to use this as a test case. And it's great."
said that staff and expertise from the Labor Department and the
governor's office will be critical to handling what is expected to be an
even bigger turnout this time around.
Cuomo said when he
announced the G450C in 2011 that the goal would be to increase the
participation of women and minorities in the state's growing high-tech
economy. Kaloyeros said that already, 20 percent of the contractors
hired on the project, which included construction of a new $365 million
building, are minority and women-owned businesses.
February's event, like November's, will target women, minority and veteran candidates.
for the new jobs range from $35,000 to $100,000 and aren't only for
engineers and people who hold Ph.D.s. There are also jobs for security
officers, cleaning and maintenance workers and those who will have
Kaloyeros says even the seemingly less
technical jobs are part of the high-tech wave. For instance, many of the
cleaning jobs take place in the high-tech clean rooms where silicon
wafers are processed into chips. Kaloyeros said people selected for
those positions will be trained "at a significantly advanced level,"
providing upward mobility not offered in other industries.
Those who wish to pre-register for the event and upload their resumes can go to the college's website at http://cnse.albany.edu.