The Ulster County BOCES program is relocating its career and technical center in Port Ewen to a 105,000-square-foot space in the upcoming iPark 87 business campus – the long-vacant former IBM Kingston manufacturing facility – Ulster BOCES District Superintendent Jonah Schenker announced Monday.

County and education officials announced the signing of two leases at iPark 87 intended to create a workforce development hub and attract new industries.

The new BOCES center will serve approximately 1,200 students.

In addition to that, a collaboration of county, SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Ulster, Ulster BOCES and others will occupy 40,000 square feet to create the Sustainable Ulster Workforce Innovation Center, according to County Executive Jen Metzger and UCEDA chair Gregory Simpson.

The Sustainable Ulster Workforce Innovation Center will house the Ulster County departments of employment and training and tourism and economic development, and new instructional and programming space for the SUNY schools, Ulster YouthBuild and others. 

Officials touted the moves as a way to prepare the next generation of workers while enabling them to work alongside area professionals. Metzger called it transformational for Ulster County.

“Our shared vision is to create a vibrant hub of learning and professional development, and a direct pathway into jobs through partnerships with employers," she said.

The move also allows BOCES to expand services amid a growing student base.

The iPark 87 campus is situated on 200 acres with over 1 million square feet of existing buildings along Enterprise Drive in Ulster.

Ulster County officials in December 2021 announced that National Resources, a real estate development and investment firm, purchased the site to redevelop it into a business park. 

Just more than a year later, the battery company Zinc8 said it would locate its manufacturing operations at iPark 87, but on Monday, the company's CEO, who’s developing iPark, said Zinc8 will not be part of the campus.

“Ulster BOCES has access to the largest potential labor market pool in the area — the nearly 600 seniors we graduate each year looking to enter the workforce and pursue postsecondary experiences, as well as indirect connections to the graduating classes of every public high school in the County,” Schenker said Monday. “This positions us as a lead partner in workforce development, and being centrally located in the economic development hub of Ulster County being created at iPark 87, along with County government, SUNY New Paltz, and SUNY Ulster, will allow us to be a true engine to support these workforce development needs."