Talent pipeline management, manufacturing apprenticeship intermediary program

By Todd J. Tranum

President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier

Though talent is a renewable resource, manufacturing is lagging in generating a workforce with the needed skills and qualifications required to compete in a global market. Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) is a demand driven solution that works by applying the lessons from supply chain management, used in industry, to manage education and workforce partnerships.

The Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier (MAST) is working with local manufacturers to generate a clear link between their talent strategy and their business strategy to identify the jobs upon which their competitiveness depends. Employers are the end customers of talent supply chains, working through the TPM initiative with MAST, a preferred network of partners is being put together and managed to supply the talent needed in today’s workforce. As with any supply chain, quality is one of the key activities in this initiative. To be successful infrastructure must be introduced to ensure end-to-end performance tracking at every stage of the supply chain. Beneficiaries of this initiative include:

1. Employers: get a better prepared workforce

2. Providers: achieve better outcomes for students

3. Students and Workers: can access clear career pathways

4. Policy Makers: generate a higher return on their education and workforce investments

To further address the workforce challenge, MAST is partnering with the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) to counter the wider skills gap that this trend threatens by creating the area’s first intermediary apprenticeship program. The MAST-MACNY Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) is designed to assist manufacturers throughout Chautauqua and Cattaraugus in training workers for high-skill trades, many of which will be or already are being vacated by retiring workers.

MAST’s program is modeled after MACNY’s MIAP in Central New York. Under the program, MAST will serve as the intermediary between participating companies and the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), which regulates apprenticeships statewide. MAST will offer the intermediary services free-of-charge. On Wednesday, October 17, MAST will host an Apprenticeship Informational Session at the Manufacturing Technology Institute. Interested employers are invited to attend. Staff from MAST and MACNY will all be in attendance to review the program and answer any questions.

The MIAP apprenticeship program has matured in central New York, under the leadership of MACNY, allowing small to mid-sized companies to take advantage of NYS Department of Labor apprenticeships without having to put into place the infrastructure required to manage such a program. Here in Chautauqua County we are working to replicate that success using their best practices and lessons learned. As the intermediary, MAST becomes the DOL sponsor for the program, managing all the requisite paperwork and assisting with curricula development and execution as well as organizing each apprentices outside coursework. MIAP is a great opportunity to develop the technical skills local manufacturers need to compete in today’s economic environment. Apprenticeship programs are also a great tool for employee retention, providing a pathway to advancement in an organization while maximizing employee buy-in.

MAST expects to start placing apprenticeships by fall of 2018. As the program’s sponsoring entity, MAST will be responsible for apprentices over the course of their training periods. Most apprenticeship programs have a duration of four years. During that period, apprentices will undergo 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of related instruction per year. For manufacturers, the MAST MIAP provides a means for a stable and growing workforce, but for apprentices it means a pathway to higher paying jobs.

Chamber Annual Awards Banquet is Oct. 11

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize a number of local leaders and business and community service during our Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, Oct. 11. This event is the largest gathering of business people in the county each year and will once again be held at the Williams Center on the SUNY Fredonia campus.

The Chamber’s annual Economic Development Award is being presented to Dunkirk Metal Products, a leading sheet metal fabricator and manufacturer of specialty metal products engineered to meet the demands of today’s industries.

The Person of the Year Award will be presented to the Calimeri Family of Jamestown. The Calimeri family has been long been involved in the startup and operation of several businesses, have demonstrated a commitment to volunteerism and community engagement, and have generously contributed to the community.

Each of the six community Chambers of Commerce presents a Community Service Award during the Chamber Banquet. The Dunkirk Community Chamber has selected former Dunkirk Harbor Commission chair James T. Nichols to posthumously receive its award. The Fredonia Community Chamber chose Kurt Maytum, a long time firefighter, fire chief, and paramedic, for its Community Service Award. Laurie Bifaro has been selected to receive the Community Service Award from the Hanover Community Chamber for the economic rebirth she has helped to bring to the Silver Creek community by expanding her business, A Cut Above the Rest. The Jamestown Community Chamber selected Bill Stevenson for his hands-on participation in with many organizations including the National Comedy Center, Riverfront Management Council, Jamestown Area Railway Heritage Center, Jamestown High School Band, and many more. The Mayville-Chautauqua Community Chamber has chosen SandraLee Wagner to receive its award for her dedication to establishing the Lakeside Bark Dog Run to fruition. The Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber is presenting its Community Service Award to the sister and brother team of Joan Mascaro Caruso and Rick Mascaro for their dedication to community through their work at the Lake Shore Center for the Arts, Westfield Community Kitchen, the Patterson Library and more.

We hope you will join us in saluting all of these deserving award winners during the Chamber’s Annual Awards Banquet. For more information call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or find the event online at www.chautauquachamber.org/events.