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    Photo taken by E.Reid Coker - GALLERYNINENORTH

    "SUNY Adirondack's new cybersecurity and information technology degree program is a "national model" for innovative workforce development," said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., when he visited the community college campus in Queensbury on Monday.
    "This is the kind of thing that I just love," he said. "It is so exciting because you're combining a couple of needs."
    The program offers two years of course work that can be transferred to specialized four-year college programs, including at three SUNY schools.
    It is one of 11 new programs SUNY Adirondack has introduced since 2015.
    Schumer said the program addresses a national security issue, trains workers for high-wage jobs in a growing industry, and provides skilled workers for local employers.
    "That's our market system determining how great the need is," he said.
    Alan Van Tassel, executive vice president of StoredTech in Queensbury, which employs 45 people, said there is a shortage of trained workers in the field that live locally.
    "There is a need. ... We're having to go outside the community to find help today," he said.
    Schumer said he plans to propose increased federal funding for cybersecurity training college degree programs.
    "I hope that we can get you some specific funding," in addition to touting the SUNY Adirondack program as a "national model," he said.
    Schumer said he has not yet determined a dollar amount of funding he will seek.
    "We're going to figure that out, but I'd like it to be a healthy amount," he said.
    SUNY Adirondack President Kristine Duffy thanked Schumer for visiting the campus to hear directly from several faculty and students about the program.
    "We are so proud of our students, our faculty, our staff, our community," she said.
    Schumer, the Senate minority leader, as usual, interjected wit in his remarks.
    "My staff writes great notes, and then I just do whatever I want," he said.
    Speaking about the importance of small business, Schumer said his father owned and operated a small exterminator business.
    Schumer said his sister once wrote on a Father's Day card, "We're the only family that associates the smell of DDT with love."
    Speaking with reporters afterward, Schumer said the recent federal budget extender hill includes $2.5 billion in new funding for rural broadband.
    "Why did I feel it was so important?" he asked, going on to answer his own question. "My experiences in the Adirondacks."
    EDC President Ed Bartholomew who attended the SUNY event stated that EDC has been in communication with Senator Schumer regarding the need for broadband funding for Warren County along with infrastructure requirements throughout the County and City of Glens Falls. Bartholomew expressed appreciation to Senator Schumer for his ongoing emphasis, interest and focus on Warren County, Glens Falls and the region.
    Asked to name his favorite United States president on President's Day, Schumer said he has three equal favorites: Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
    "Two New Yorkers," he said. "Two Republicans and one Democrat."
    Maury Thomson covered the region for  The Post-Star  for 21 years before retiring in September. He keeps his finger on the pulse of economic development, business and quality of life in Warren County by writing a twice-a-month column for EDC Warren County.  His next full column will be published March 2.
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