Hudson Valley Pathways Academy “Lead Learners” Helping to Manufacture the Future

Hudson Valley Pathways Academy “Lead Learners” Helping to Manufacture the Future

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.


Noah Smith

Council of Industry President Harold King (left) with Manufacturing Champion and Hudson Valley Pathways Academy (HVPA) at Ulster BOCES Lead Learner Noah Smith (center) and HVPA Young Scholar Ethan Greger during the May 18 recognition breakfast.

Matthew Leifeld

HVPA at Ulster BOCES Young Scholar Devon Ellsworth (left), along with Matt Leifeld (center) and Council of Industry President Harold King, during the May 18 recognition breakfast to honor 2023 Manufacturing Champions. 

Group Shot at award ceremony

Young scholars, staff, and administrators had a strong showing at the Council of Industry annual event to honor the 2023 Manufacturing Champions from HVPA at Ulster BOCES, Lead Learners Matt Leifeld and Noah Smith.

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