Making Smart Moves
Not everyone could go to Fulton-Montgomery Community College. So, Fulton-Montgomery Community College went to them.
“I had heard from folks in Amsterdam that there were barriers to their taking classes on our Johnstown campus,” college President Dustin Swanger said. “Clearly, reaching out to that population was the right thing to do.”
The college reached out by expanding its operation in Amsterdam’s Riverfront Center, making classes far more accessible to prospective students in Montgomery County. The expansion proved a win-win: In the past few years, FMCC has increased its Montgomery County student population by nearly 30 percent.
FMCC’s 150 full-time employees prepare more than 2,700 students for careers in high-demand fields like nanotechnology, where the nearby Capital Region is a New York state leader.
“When I first got here, I thought I would stay for five years and leave,” said Swanger, who has been with the college for nine years. “I think this area has such potential, I’ve decided to stay for the rest of my career.”
It’s not just the exceptional workforce and students at FMCC that attracts him. It’s the exceptional quality of life that might surprise some people.
“I think Montgomery has a lot more to offer than you might think at first blush,” Swanger said. “It’s a family friendly area, there’s lots to do and it’s located in a place where you can easily get to a lot of major cities if you want to go.”
Here, as with many other ventures with the college, the Montgomery County Business Development Center played a key role.
Center officials serve on the college’s master planning committee, which helps guide the direction for facility use and expansion. On a separate front, the college and center have formed strategic partnerships to advance economic and workforce development.
“We work the MCBDC on finding ways to attract new business and work with local businesses to set a direction for the region,” Swanger said.
These bonds and the talent produced by FMCC makes Montgomery County “Made of Something Stronger.” #DevelopingStronger