Farmingdale in line for security center

Strengthening security across regional infrastructure and transportation systems is the focus of a new center coming to Farmingdale State College.

Lieutenant Gov. Kathleen Hochul visited the FSC campus Thursday to announce that $6.6 million in NYSUNY 2020 funding was being awarded to establish the Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center, which will put an academic focus on security issues and help train students to work in related fields.

“The Infrastructure, Transportation and Security Center establishes New York State and Farmingdale State College as leaders in how we meet the challenges of fighting terrorism and today’s ‘new normal,’” Hochul said, predicting the “unique program” would attract students from across the country “at a time when security must be layered into the planning and execution of transportation-infrastructure projects.”

Farmingdale State will operate the ITSC in partnership with Stony Brook University and Nassau Community College. Together, the three schools are slated to contribute $21 million to get the center up and running, while FSC plans to hire up to 20 teaching and research faculty in the next five years specifically for the center.

The host college is also planning new infrastructure-security research and academic programs on the undergraduate and graduate levels, and will create new partnerships – and expand existing ones – with security- and transportation-related public agencies and private companies.

Also in the works: collaborations with the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council to help form private-sector partnerships that create job pathways in STEM industries (for science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

The center, to be housed in a new building on the FSC campus, is expected to be fully implemented by 2020. Construction and maintenance of the new building should create roughly 150 jobs, according to the governor’s office.

The new facility “provides an exceptional opportunity for our faculty and students to be on the front line of protecting our economic and national security,” FSC President W. Hubert Keen said in a statement.

“The faculty and staff of Farmingdale are uniquely qualified to conduct research and provide workforce training in support of the ITSC,” the president added.

Politicos from State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Smithtown) to Nassau and Suffolk executives Edward Mangano and Steve Bellone hailed the ITSC, with Mangano applauding “great news for Nassau County and our whole region” and Bellone lauding “the opportunity to create jobs right here in Suffolk County.”

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