New manufacturing training program bolsters local job prospects

Hunter Wallace
News Editor

 Pictured from left to right: President Drew Matonak, Simmons Machine Tool Corporation president and COO David Davis, Center for Economic Growth president and CEO Andrew Kennedy.COURTESY OF HVCC.EDU

Pictured from left to right: President Drew Matonak, Simmons Machine Tool Corporation president and COO David Davis, Center for Economic Growth president and CEO Andrew Kennedy.

Hudson Valley and the Center for Economic Growth announced the establishment of Manufacturing Technology Pathways, a new credential training program for those interested in joining the Capital Region manufacturing workforce, last Thursday.

The Manufacturing Technology Pathways program is an intensive, multi-level program that allows participants to earn credentials in a short amount of time, after which they can qualify for jobs or add to their portfolio.

It is designed for adults who want to join the manufacturing workforce, but cannot commit to a full degree or certificate program. This program will also help participants find jobs with local manufacturers who experience difficulty filling positions.

“There is a growing need for employees in the Capital Region’s manufacturing workforce, and this program will provide a pathway to entry-level jobs in the field,” said Communications and Marketing Specialist Teresa Farrell.

“The stackable credential model will allow students to choose one or two courses to take and earn a local credential for them, which will qualify them to apply for these positions. This provides a way for people to get into these entry level jobs without committing to an entire degree or certificate program,” continued Farrell.

The program will consist of two levels, as per the stackable credential model. Level 1 will be a shorter, non-credit course, along with online courses. Those who complete this first level will receive a local credential and be prepared to immediately find entry level jobs in basic assembly and warehousing.

“This program should provide an opportunity to fill the surplus of vacant positions in the manufacturing sector that are currently unfilled, due to a lack of qualified applicants, by providing a way for those would-be applicants to earn the necessary qualifications to enter the field,” Farrell said.

After completing the first level, participants can move up to Level 2 of the program, which consists of an 80-hour boot camp that is covered across two consecutive weeks. This second level is also a hybrid model, featuring online classes, in-person instruction and hands-on guided instruction in classrooms and labs. Training in this level will build upon the skills learned in the first level.

Level 1 of the program is expected to be offered in early November. The first Level 2 boot camp will be held in the Lang Technical Building at Hudson Valley from Dec.18-22, 2017 and from Jan. 8-13, 2018. The second boot camp will be held from May 14-25, 2018.

The Capital Region and Mohawk Valley are the only New York State regions to have seen their manufacturing sectors grow over the past five years. During this time frame, the eight-county Capital Region added 3,080 manufacturing jobs.

While many large manufacturers like GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Regeneron drove most of that growth, smaller businesses also contributed to it. As of today, nearly 9 out of 10 manufacturers in the region have less than 50 employees.

“The growing skills gap will continue to be a pressing challenge for the manufacturing community,” said President of Simmons Machine Tool David Davis. “This program will be extremely important in helping to remediate these gaps and keep our workforce strong.”

The project is being created through a SUNY workforce development grant, with additional support from the New York State Workforce Development Institute, Center for Economic Growth and local manufacturing employers.

“The program is funded through a SUNY workforce development grant for $60,000, with additional support from the New York State Workforce Development Institute for $10,200, plus in-kind contributions from the Center for Economic Growth and other local manufacturing employers,” Farrell said.
Local manufacturers are eager to support this program.

“This program will play an important role in building a strong workforce pipeline for the region’s manufacturers,” said President and CEO of the Center for Economic Growth Andrew Kennedy.

“Through the Pathways study, we identified key skills that are highly sought after in the Capital Region. The Manufacturing Technology Pathways program will address these needs and grow our talent pool. Overall, this program will play an integral role in retaining our current manufacturers and making us an attractive place for future investment.”

To learn more or enroll in this program, contact Hudson Valley TEC-SMART Associate Dean Penny Hill by phone at (518) 629-7294 or by email at p.hill@hvcc.edu.

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