Help wanted — manufacturing job opportunities going unfilled

Chamber Corner

Businesses across the region have job openings. There is currently significant demand for workers in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is making a resurgence. It is the manufacturing sector that led our national economy out of the great recession and has continued on a growth trajectory over the past several years. While manufacturing is growing, many workers that are part of the Baby Boomer generation are retiring. The growth in manufacturing and simultaneous retirements is creating enormous opportunity for anyone who is ambitious, likes to work with their hands and is interested in technology. Entry level, skilled trades, engineering, supervisory, marketing and management, manufacturers are looking for all level of skills. The inability to find the workforce needed to fill open jobs is restraining our economy.

Manufacturing is a big deal in our region. Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties combined represent $6.7 billion in shipments per year and $776.7 million in payroll. Manufacturing is a major contributor to our regional economy. Manufacturing jobs offer good compensation and benefits. In addition, manufacturing jobs provide growth opportunities to those that enter them. Local residents, parents, grandparents, educators, counselors, local leaders we need your help aligning people in your family, people you know in our community and people that have moved away with these job opportunities.

The community is rallying around this challenge with a variety of opportunities for students. Programming in Chautauqua County’s schools such as the P-TECH program in Dunkirk, the Manufacturing/STEM lab at Chautauqua Lake Central School and Technology Academy at Jamestown Public schools are promising models to help build the talent pipeline needed to support manufacturing. Jamestown Community College (JCC) is offering the Workforce Readiness Scholarship which provides a tuition-free education at JCC. The workforce readiness scholarship can be used for all programs offered through JCC’s Manufacturing Technology Institute (MTI) including: Industrial Equipment Technology certificate, Machine Tool Technology certificate, Welding Technology certificate and degree, Mechanical Technology degree and the Computer Aided Design & Computer Numeric Control certificate. JCC is working in partnership with the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier (MAST) to connect students with an employer who will provide either a paid internship, part-time employment or an apprenticeship. To learn more about the Workforce Readiness Scholarship contact Jeff Teluk, Director of Engineering Science and Technology at 338-1324. You may also visit www.sunyjcc.edu/wrscholarhip.

Today’s manufacturing is state-of-the-art, high-speed, high-tech. Manufacturing careers pay well and provide benefits. Take this opportunity to think about these job opportunities for yourself or for someone you may know.

Winter Festival

weekend straight ahead!

Join in the fun again this year as the Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber of Commerce proudly presents the area’s premier winter festival! This year’s event runs from Feb. 15-17. Opening ceremonies are at 6pm Friday evening, with a full day of fun on Saturday that closes with a fireworks display Saturday night. The festival continues through Sunday afternoon. All kinds of events are scheduled including games, contests, vendors, food, horse drawn carriage rides, scavenger hunts, and much more! Despite the cold snap a couple of weeks ago, the recent warm-up has caused some problems for the ice castle crew, but the festival runs whether there is a castle or not and no matter what the weather is that weekend. Learn more online at www.mayvillechautauquacommunitychamber.org or find the Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival on Facebook.

Also coming right up is the new Fire & Ice Celebration that runs evenings from 5-9pm from Feb. 14-16 at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel in Celoron. It will feature 20,000 pounds of ice carved into sculptures, martini luges, and ice bars. Dozens of local vendors will feature food tastings inside the Pier Ballroom, and there will be live music and fun. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Child Advocacy Program. Friday night, Feb. 15, will be Chamber Night. Chamber members will receive two free drink tickets with their paid admission. To learn more visit their website at www.thechautauquaharborhotel.com.

Business After Hours

at EBC West Feb. 21

The Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce and Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce invite all local business people to attend Business After Hours at EBC West, Thursday, Feb. 21. Bring your friends and colleagues to this networking event, which features appetizers, door prizes, and a cash bar from EBC’s terrific selection. The cost is $13 for pre-registered Chamber members, or $15 for non-members or walk-ins. It will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. at EBC West, 34 West Main St., Fredonia. Sponsors are AFLAC, Client Solutions Group, DFT Communications, HBKS Wealth Advisors, Larson-Timko Funeral Home, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. Sign up now by calling the Chamber at 366-6200 or find our events calendar online at www.chautauquachamber.org.

Jamestown Chamber Salute to the Finest is March 4

The Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce will honor a number of local businesses and individuals during its annual Salute to the Finest, Monday, March 4 at Shawbucks. These awards are presented annually and pay tribute to some of the outstanding organizations and people who make the Jamestown region special. This year awards will be presented as follows: New Business of the Year, Chautauqua Harbor Hotel; Manufacturer of the Year, Cummins Inc.; Retailer of the Year, Wegmans; Restaurant of the Year, Lena’s Pizza; Young Business Persons of the Year, Joe and Alyvia Town the new owners of Pace’s Pizzeria; Service to Humanity Award, UCAN Ministry; the Pride of Jamestown Award, Reg Lenna Center for the Arts; and Business of the Year, Lake Shore Paving. Salute to the Finest is sponsored by Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric, Elegant Edibles Catering, and Shawbucks. A cocktail hour with cash bar begins at 5pm, with dinner and the program to start at 6pm. The cost is $32 for Chamber members and $35 for non-members, or $240 for a table of eight. Several meal options are available. Reservations are requested by February 22. Seating is limited so please register soon on our website at www.chautauquachamber.org or by calling the Chamber at 484-1101.

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