STONE RIDGE – Ulster BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways Academy (HVPA) instructors Noah Smith and Matthew Leifeld–known as “lead learners” at the Ulster BOCES P-TECH program–have been named 2023 Manufacturing Champions by the Council of Industry, the manufacturers’ association of the Hudson Valley. This award honors individuals and organizations who, through their vision, dedication, hard work, and tireless involvement, have helped local manufacturers to overcome some of the many obstacles they typically encounter while doing business.
Smith and Leifeld have guided the HVPA students, known as young scholars, both inside and outside of the classroom in a variety of ways, from helping them to respond to industry challenges to overseeing their efforts to design and build robots for the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Smith and Leifeld were nominated by Frank Falatyn, the president of Fala Technologies Inc. Fala is a local manufacturer of custom-built equipment and advanced electro-mechanical products for the semiconductor, transportation, military, advanced energy, and industrial products sectors. Falatyn, who has worked with HVPA as a manufacturing volunteer, described Smith and Leifeld as “educators who constantly develop new, innovative ways of teaching that connect with today’s students and prepare them for tomorrow’s technology jobs.”
By facilitating interactions between the young scholars and mentors from local manufacturing companies, the duo has been responsible for the students landing not only internships, but also job offers. In short, they are contributing to the innovative workforce the manufacturing industry is looking for.