Teaching the Teachers during Manufacturing Month
More than 40 teachers from Chautauqua County had a chance to learn firsthand about local manufacturing jobs and required skills during a Teacher Development Day organized by Dream It Do It and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier and hosted at Jamestown Community College. Weber Knapp and Artone, LLC were tour locations, followed by lunch, presentations, and a question and answer session at the Manufacturing Technology Institute at JCC. Teachers also toured the MTI facility and learned about manufacturing technology and participated in a hands on manufacturing activity.
Proclamations for Manufacturing Month were presented by representatives for Congressman Tom Reed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Sen. Cathy Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell and County Executive George Borrello.
Borrello noted that during his first 100 days in office he visited 107 businesses countywide.
“Workforce was the top issue at all of those businesses,” he said. “Jobs are available, but out local businesses need employees who can pass a drug test, show up continuously for the job, and are skilled and trained. We told our high school students for too many years that they had to go to college and move away from Chautauqua County to be successful. That’s not true. We can train student’s right here in Chautauqua County to work in manufacturing and stem careers that pay a living wage and we can keep growing our local economy with local people.”
MAST Executive Director Todd Tranum noted that manufacturers in Chautauqua County produce and ship over $5.1-billion in goods annually.
Tranum added, “Manufacturing is the foundation of our regional economy. Our manufacturers compete in a global economy. To remain competitive they need to maintain a skilled workforce. To remain competitive and continue to manufacture product, we need a strong partnership with our schools. Continuing to build partnerships with our schools is the central message of our discussion today. We need our school districts to help identify and encourage students to consider a future in advanced manufacturing jobs.”