For more than a year members of the Orange County (NY) Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors have been researching ways to support Orange County Small and Medium sized manufacturers in their efforts to find skilled workers. The IDA recognizes the importance of manufacturing to the economy of the county and are trying to support it where they can.
Since first learning that a gap exists between what area manufacturers need and what the current workforce possess as well as what the areas schools can provide, the IDA has been looking at best practices across the nation with an eye toward implementing them here in the Hudson Valley. That has led to the possibility that SUNY Orange will begin a certificate training program for advanced manufacturing focuses on training machinists. Overtime the program may be expanded to also include an Associates Degree.
To ensure that the program is needed and that it includes what area manufactures need, the SUNY Orange will be hosting a series of focus groups on the topic in late June. the Council of Industry has been involved in this process all along, and many of our members will be invited to participate in the focus groups (including many outside of Orange County) the groups will be held in four sessions scheduled for June 20-21, and 27-28 at the college’s Newburgh campus and at the Orange County Business Accelerator in New Windsor.