New agreement to aid manufacturing in the region

JOE LOTEMPLIO/STAFF PHOTONorth Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas (from left), Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale and Clarkson University President Tony Collins sign a new agreement between Clinton and Clarkson to deliver skilled workers and share ideas and technology to support manufacturing in the region.

PLATTSBURGH — As the world continues to gradually emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, the manufacturing segment of the region is readying for big developments.

A new agreement between Clinton Community College and Clarkson University is set to deliver skilled workers and share ideas and technology to make manufacturing in the region hum even better than it has been.

Ralph A. Coon Jr., president of Plattco Corporation in Plattsburgh, has used students from CCC’s Institute of Advanced Manufacturing to aid his 120-year old business of creating airlocks and slide gates for dry material handling.


The option has been a great benefit for the company.

Using resources from the IAM has allowed Plattco to revamp its engineering approach, which has led to better production times and reduced costs.

“When you go looking out into the immediate community as to where you are going to fill the gap with that kind of learning skill, the perfect choice was the IAM,” Coon said at an event Tuesday morning at CCC’s IAM building.

“That’s what this place has to offer.”


The 30,000-square-foot IAM opened in the fall of 2017 on the CCC campus. It is a state of the art facility that houses Clinton’s technology programs, and also serves as a regional hub for manufacturing education, with flexible teaching and learning space.

It also offers courses to local manufacturers to advance their workforces.


The latest agreement between CCC and Clarkson will mean the two schools will work together to identify and solicit funding opportunities to support mutually beneficial education and training programs including credentialing, certificate or badge programs, designed to support the needs of regional industries for workforce development in the field of advanced and/or innovative manufacturing.

CCC President Ray DiPasquale said the partnership with Clarkson, along with strong community support, was the “Gold Standard” for advanced manufacturing excellence.

“I’ve never worked at a place where the community is so engaged, and they want this college to be successful,” DiPasquale said.


Clarkson President Tony Collins said the agreement will bolster manufacturing, especially for the transportation industry, throughout the region, which will reverberate throughout the state, nation and even world.

“None of that existed five or 10 years ago... this is an opportunity that truly is global,” he said.

Clinton County Legislature Chairman Mark Henry (R-Area 3, Chazy), State Sen. Dan Stec (R-Queensbury), Assemblyman D. Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay Lake), Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman, City of Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest and Clinton County Sheriff David Favro who also serves as CCC’s Board of Trustees chairman, all said they expect the partnership to yield great benefits for the region.

“This is what we want to see: advancements like this,” Henry said.


Rosenquest, a graduate of CCC, said to build, grow and sustain successful programs does require a partnership.

“These folks here have created a partnership on the education side, the local elected officials have created a partnership on our side, and now we implore you, the business community to build the last leg of that three-legged stool to create that partnership for this facility, for our community, for our workforce,” Rosenquest said.

Favro, also a CCC graduate, said communication is key to such agreements.

“The one word that is so critical to everyone’s success at every level and for everything that we do, folks, is communication,” he said.

“We need to talk openly and honestly, and I have been honored to have that type of communication (with everyone).”


John Conery, the operations manager at Camso in Plattsburgh, said the collaboration with the IAM has helped his business and will into the future.

“It’s working out quite well for our organization, so any manufacturers should engage,” Conery said.

North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said with a concerning labor shortage not only in the North Country, but nationwide, partnerships like this one will be critical in meeting employment needs, and efforts will continue to address the shortage.

“We want to plant that seed, and to have all of you convey to your colleagues, and we will too, to start thinking of reusing the tools we have to maximize skills,” Douglas said.

“It’s here, its ready and its remarkable, and something to be quite proud of.”

Email Joe LoTemplio:

Twitter: @jlotemplio


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