Apprentice

Meet Jacob: Apprentice at Elna Magnetics

 

Jacob has been working at Elna Magnetics for the past 7 months as a Machinist. Elna Magnetics is a custom machine shop producing specialized ferrite cores; they provide custom machining services as well as authorized distribution of an extensive range of magnetic products. They provide their customers with both standard and custom solutions for power, signal, suppression and RFID applications. Jacob’s role as machinist is integral in ensuring accuracy, and when serving the industrial, medical, military and aerospace industries that exactness is incredibly important. He’s responsible for setting up each machine to specific specs and grinding the stones down to precise thousands of an inch to get the desired electrical readings.

Jacob grew up in Saugerties, NY and jumped into the manufacturing industry after graduating from high school. He started his career at Simulaids, a local manufacturer that produces healthcare training aids such as CPR manikins, patient simulators and trauma moulage products. Jacob spent a year at Simulaids exploring several different departments. He gained experience using heat sealers, large machines that use radio frequencies to seal materials together, he was also exposed to CNC machining and programing, and spent some time working in the foam room which ensures that the manikins are the correct texture, consistency and weight. During his time there Jacob got experience in a lot of different areas of the industry and discovered that he most enjoyed the time he spent working with CNC machines.

Before working at Simulaids Jacob was unsure about his career. However, after spending several years working in manufacturing and seeing firsthand the opportunities to learn and advance, Jacob told us that he plans to stay in the industry. He is currently an Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) Apprentice at Elna where he’s further developing his skills and gaining a more well rounded understanding of manufacturing. The IMT apprenticeship is an entry level program for individuals just starting out in the industry and its often used as a stepping stone to the other trades: Machinist (CNC), Toolmaker, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance and Electro-Mechanical Technician. Jacob told us that he hopes to transition into the CNC Machinist trade after completing his current apprenticeship.

Jacob shared with us that he’s learned a lot so far during his time at Elna and the apprentice program has been instrumental in expanding that knowledge even further. He first learned about the program from his boss Jimmy Ferarro who recommended that he join. “I wanted to take on more responsibility in my career and the apprentice program seemed like a great opportunity to learn more and potentially put myself onto a better career trajectory” said Jacob.

Apprentices that are enrolled in the Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprentice Program are required to complete a combination of on-the-job training with a skilled mentor, and related instruction courses that teach the more fundamental aspects of the trade. Jacob told us that he’s found the related instruction courses especially helpful. So far he’s taken Manufacturing Math Fundamentals and Introduction to Mechanical Properties through Tooling-U, an online learning platform designed for the manufacturing industry. He told us that he’s been able to proactively apply the knowledge he’s gained from those courses in his day-to-day responsibilities at Elna. He said, “Through the testing in Tooling-U I definitely have a better understanding of the industry and my current role.”

Jacob also plans to take advantage of the related instruction courses offered through SUNY Ulster. Through the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, SUNY Ulster allows registered apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related classes for free. Many apprentices have taken advantage of this program by enrolling in their Advanced Manufacturing Program, and Jacob hopes to do the same. 

You can learn more about Elna Magnetics in the latest issue of HV Mfg Magazine HERE and on the Council of Industry Podcast HERE.

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

 

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Educators Tour Westchester Manufacturers Magnetic Analysis Corp and Safe Flight

Educators visit MAC

Pictured above: Educators tour Magnetic Analysis Corporation in Elmsford, NY.

Last week the Council of Industry, as part of its ongoing efforts to develop a skilled workforce for Hudson Valley Manufacturers, organized a tour for educators of Westchester County manufacturers.  Partnering with The Workforce Development Institute, Westchester Community College, Southern Westchester BOCES, New York State Senator Shelley Mayer, and Westchester County, we chartered a Coach bus and brought 34 administrators, guidance counselors and teachers to see firsthand the careers and career pathways available to their students in manufacturing.

The tour began at Westchester Community College with a presentation covering both credit and non-credit programs available at the college that teach the skillsets for many of these career pathways. Dean Raymond Houston of Westchester Community College’s School of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering, and Tom Curanovic, Curriculum Chair of Mechanical & Civil Technology at WCC, led a tour of the advanced manufacturing center. This included a CAD lab, a CNC lab (with machines donated by Council of Industry member Fryer Machine,) and the electronics lab, along with a description of the training students receive in these classrooms. There was also some discussion from manufacturers taking part in the tour of the jobs and skills they are looking for when hiring and how the training provided by the college and through apprenticeship programs is beneficial.

After the WCC presentation and tour, the group boarded the bus and set off to their first stop, Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, right next to the Westchester County Airport in White Plains. Safe Flight is a leader in aviation safety and flight performance systems.  The company was founded in 1946 and pioneered the development of Stall Warning and Angle of Attack, Automatic Throttle Systems, Wind Shear Warning, and many other innovations in aircraft instrumentation, flight performance, and control systems for fixed and rotary winged aircraft. As part of the tour, the educators learned more about the company’s history and philosophy. We met with the head of Engineering and learned about the numerous patents the company holds as well as how they test their products right here in Westchester. The tour of the production floor was fascinating for the educators, as they were able to see the CNC machines and machine shop, quality assurance testing, and electronics assembly in action and learn more about the types of jobs that are available in this company and what training is necessary to get started here and the opportunities for growth within the company. Then it was back on the bus and off to our next manufacturer. During the drive, Justin Lukach, President of Mircomold Products in Yonkers, talked about his company, how he got into manufacturing, and some innovative ideas they are trying out at Micromold to increase employee engagement.

After a short ride over to Elmsford, the group disembarked on the tour’s next stop, Magnetic Analysis Corporation, where they manufacture instruments, systems and solutions for nondestructive testing to inspect flaws and defects in tube and pipe, bar, rod, wire, cable, billets, and parts. Their products and testing instruments are used in countless countries and territories, in plants and mills where wire, tubing, bars, and metal parts roll through automatic inspection systems without missing a beat. Here we learned about the history of MAC and why their testing equipment is so important and what skills and background they look for when hiring employees. Greg Gionta, MAC Plant Manager, was also a WCC alumna and a great source of information on the career opportunities available to young people interested in working with their hands.  On the tour, we were treated to a CNC demonstration and watched as parts were readied for assembly in a machine worth over $400,000 headed to the oil and gas industry. Then it was back on the bus and we were off to the next stop, a Con Edison station in Rye.

At our last stop, Con Edison, the group learned about the jobs available in the Energy field and the growth opportunities available depending on your education and training. We heard from several current Con Ed employees about their career paths and how they got where they are today. They emphasized the importance of safety in their field and at Con Edison.

The bus ride back to the Community College featured Evangelo Micas, Assistant Principal for Southern Westchester BOCES, who discussed the programs open to high school students to get started on the path to manufacturing and energy careers. The educators came on the tour hoping to find out more about options for students that may, or may not be, college-bound and they came away with new connections to schools, companies and organizations in their community that are eager to find those same kids and expose them to rewarding career pathways in industry. This event was made possible by funding from The Workforce Development Institute. The Council of Industry looks forward to building these relationships to help develop the manufacturing workforce of the future.

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Meet Vince – Apprentice at Usheco, Inc.

Vince and Alethea Shuman at Usheco, Inc. 

Meet Vince – a Plastics Injection Molder Apprentice at Usheco, and the first apprentice in the Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program to be registered under this trade. He has many roles including Injection Molder, Operator (CNC & Thermoforming) and Technician. Vince has years of experience in the manufacturing industry and has worked at Usheco for a little over a year running his own department consisting of 6 injection molding machines that he operates daily. Usheco is a manufacturer of custom molded plastic parts. Through the process of injection molding, thermoforming, line bending and CNC routing, Usheco provides a wide variety of parts to customers in various industries including medical, aeronautic and gaming.

Vince was born and raised in the Hudson Valley and jumped directly into the workforce after graduating from Kingston High School. Growing up in a hands-on family that fixed things themselves, Vince told us that he’s always been mechanically inclined. Recognizing that aptitude early on allowed him to take some auto-mechanic courses through the local BOCES program while still in High School. The class taught Vince how to rebuild alternators, do small engine repairs and even install breaks. This valuable experience helped him secure his first job in manufacturing after graduation.

He started out in an entry level position as a Stacker for a local manufacturer. He used this opportunity to get his foot in the door and wisely spent his time cross training in different departments whenever possible. He quickly transitioned from stacking products onto pallets into a Roll Tender position and eventually into the Second Pressman role. This experience kick started his career and he’s remained in the manufacturing industry ever since.  

After years of experience working in every role from Stacker, to Head of Operations and everything in between, Vince has seen many different aspects of manufacturing. He describes himself as an, “experienced assembly technician and manufacturing production operator with skills in quality assurance, soldering, machine operation, excursion and injection molding processes and setup.” However, Vince told us that Usheco has given him the opportunity to learn new skillsets and he loves the challenge. He spent a few months training with an experienced supervisor who helped him catch onto the trade quickly. Since then, he told us that the apprentice program has been instrumental in continuing to improve and expand his knowledge further.

Vince told us he excitedly joined the Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program earlier this year because, “it gives me the opportunity to learn new things at a pace that works for me.” Apprentices are required to complete a combination of both on-the-job (OTJ) training and related instruction (RI) courses. OTJ is automatically earned every day while Vince is at work and learning new skills of the trade, and he takes RI courses through his free subscription to Tooling-U, an online learning platform designed specifically for the manufacturing industry.

“We are happy to have Vince working as a NYS registered apprentice and even more excited that he is on the Injection Molder Apprenticeship track, which was introduced at the request of Usheco for Vince’s position here!” Said Alethea Shuman, VP of Sales and Engineering at Usheco. “Vince joined the team just over a year ago with a background in manufacturing and has taken on the challenge of learning a new manufacturing process, industry and machinery with a positive perspective that is contagious!  It is rare to see Vince without a smile on his face and we are proud to have him as an integral part of our team.”

So far Vince has found the Tooling-U courses to be an important aspect of the program that has allowed him to gain a deeper understanding of the trade. “I’ve been able to apply the knowledge I’ve gained from Tooling-U courses in my day-to-day work, and it helps me complete my tasks more efficiently” said Vince. He’s also taking advantage of the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, which allows registered apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related classes for free. Next month Vince is registered for a Blueprint Reading course at SUNY Ulster where he will learn how to identify essential details and interpret the dimensions and tolerances on blueprints.

Vince is fully committed to the program and the opportunity to gain more knowledge an experience. “This apprenticeship makes me a more valuable employee at Usheco by continuing to teach me new skills,” said Vince. “It’s an all-around great program to be a part of.”

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Meet Barbara Reer – Director of Professional Technology Programs at SUNY Ulster

 

Meet Barbara Reer, the Director of Professional Technology Programs in SUNY Ulster’s Continuing and Professional Education Department. Reer has been instrumental in leading SUNY Ulster’s Advanced Manufacturing Program, which helps educate students at all levels about the many opportunities for success available in the manufacturing industry. They offer a wide range of courses taken by apprentices, pre-apprentices, current employees in the industry looking to update or gain new skills, and even interested individuals who have no previous experience in manufacturing.

Reer’s role also goes beyond Advanced Manufacturing to include the Building Science, Web Development and Clean Tech programs. She writes grants, programs courses, seeks funding and works directly with students to build career pathways by assessing their performance in the programs and helping them find job leads. Reer herself has an Engineering degree and was part of the first graduating class with women in engineering at Western New England University. She later went on to work in manufacturing, gaining firsthand experience that she uses to help her students today.

“What I enjoy the most about this job is working with the students and helping them face their challenges.” Said Reer. “Sometimes we get students who tried college a long time ago and it didn’t work out for them, but now they’re coming back and discovering that with the right career pathway they can succeed.” SUNY Ulster offers both credit and non-credit courses to help meet the needs of all their students. Credit bearing courses help students work towards a degree or micro-credential. Non-credit courses provide no physical certification but help build knowledge and improve skills.

Reer told us that its often rewarding to see students transition from one program to the other. She’s seeing a spike in the amount of young people interested in manufacturing and recently helped a student working towards his Associate’s degree in Sound Engineering transition into the Manufacturing Certificate Program. His decision to switch was largely motivated by the steady, well-paying career opportunities available for CNC Machinists. He’ll compete his degree by taking manufacturing related courses as electives and start the Manufacturing Certificate Program the following semester.

Reer also works with local employers and educates them about the opportunities available to train their current workforce. She provides them with information about courses and even helps secure funding when necessary. To help with the cost SUNY Ulster applied for and received the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant, which gives registered apprentices the opportunity to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related courses for free. They also received funding for the Pre-Apprentice Program, which will pay for $500 worth of courses for students in entry level positions who aren’t yet at the apprentice level.

The biggest hesitation and challenge that Reer sees employers and students facing is finding the time to take advantage of these training opportunities. Attending classes after work can lead to very long days that some students either can’t or don’t want to commit to, and employers often prefer that they don’t take classes during work hours. This is an obstacle that they’re still working on solving, but Reer told us that in an effort to help she actively goes out into the community and establishes relationships with manufacturers to work on developing programs that better fit their needs.

However, Reer told us that when students and employers are committed to the process there is a tremendous opportunity for growth. She shared with us that about 6 years ago SUNY Ulster had a Guaranteed Jobs Program to help build a pool of qualified and skilled workers for manufacturers in the area. They had a student who enrolled in the program and went on to work for Fair-Rite Products as a Welder. He recently returned to SUNY Ulster looking to upgrade his skills and learn more about CNC machining. “It’s so good to see that 6 years ago he took an entry level course with us and now he’s coming back for additional training so he can move up the career ladder at his company.” Said Reer.

As for the future of workforce training, Reer told us that SUNY Ulster is partnering with The Arc in an attempt to duplicate a program being offered in California that helps train students with intellectual and developmental disabilities for manufacturing jobs. This is all part of SUNY Ulster’s plan to reach deeper into the community and build the manufacturing workforce needed in the Hudson Valley. The college is also embracing applied learning initiatives and shifting towards a more hands-on approach to teaching.

If you’re interested in learning more about SUNY Ulster’s Advanced Manufacturing Programs you can contact Barbara Reer at reerb@sunyulster.edu or (845) 802-7171. There are still seats available for an upcoming CNC Programming course starting mid-October and a Blueprint Reading course coming up in November. Please reach out for more information about course descriptions, times and locations.

 

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The Council of Industry offers a variety of resources to help strengthen the Hudson Valley’s manufacturing workforce.

A NYS Registered Apprentice Program helps manufacturers build their workforce from within. The program has two basic elements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, craft person capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner. The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a craft. Currently available trades include: CNC Machinist, Electro-Mechanical Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT). 

The Council of Industry also offers a Collaborative Recruiting Initiative to help members attract the qualified candidates they need to fill their job openings. Participating companies post their job opportunities on our manufacturing-specific job board: HVMfgJobs.com to attract individuals with the skills and aptitude needed to succeed.

For more information about these resources please contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or (845) 565-1355.

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Meet Thomas: CNC Apprentice at Usheco

 

Thomas has been working in manufacturing since he was only 14, and his love of working with his hands led him to Usheco just about 6 months ago. He currently works as a Production Operator and splits his time between the Thermoforming and CNC Departments. Usheco is a manufacturer of custom molded plastic parts. They utilize injection molding, thermoforming, line bending and CNC routing to provide a wide variety of quality parts for their customers. Thomas helps mold these parts in the Thermoforming Department and then later assists with routing the pieces to different specs using the CNC machines.

Thomas was born and raised in the Hudson Valley, and continues to enjoy living and working in Saugerties, NY. Growing up he attended Saugerties High School where he had the opportunity to take courses at Ulster BOCES, as well as some in-school vocational classes such as electrical, welding and technology. Instead Thomas opted to get some real-world experience in an area that interested him. He began working a part-time job in marble and granite counter-top fabrication while he was still in high school. He started out as a general laborer, but after graduation he began working full-time which eventually led to him becoming Head Fabricator.

When it was time for a change Thomas started looking for opportunities that would allow him to continue working with his hands. His background gave him a solid foundation to continue learning and growing in his new position at Usheco. He told us that he’s enjoyed working with the CNC department the most because it’s given him experience with new machinery such as lathes and mills, as well as computer programming, which are skills that he didn’t previously have.

Since Thomas works in various departments, he has the privilege of seeing products go through the entire process from start to finish. This is an aspect of the job that he enjoys and finds rewarding. As an example Thomas shared that Usheco makes products for a local company that supplies emergency safety personnel with CPR and rescue manikins. Thomas plays a role in molding the different parts that go into these manikins and then later assists with finishing and customization in the CNC department.

He found out about the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program when Usheco opened up the opportunity to current employees. Thomas is now officially registered as a CNC apprentice. Although he currently works in both the Thermoforming and CNC Departments, his hope is to eventually work only with the CNC machines and believes that the skills and training he’ll gain from the apprentice program will give him the experience needed to make that possible.

Apprentices learn about their trade through a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction. The opportunity to gain knowledge through related instruction was what initially made Thomas want to join the program. He told us, “It sounded really interesting to have the chance to enroll in some college courses and take it one step further than just in-house training.” Apprentices have the ability to complete their related instruction hours online or through local community colleges. SUNY Ulster for example has taken advantage of the SUNY Apprenticeship Grant which allows apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade related classes for free.

Alethea Shuman, VP of Sales and Engineering at Usheco told us, “We decided to join the apprenticeship program in order to provide our team with a more structured training program and more specified training.  Our hope is to increase our team’s cumulative knowledge in order to develop improved processes and advance our manufacturing capabilities to stay competitive in the near and long-term future.” Fairly new to the program, Usheco already has 3 apprentices registered under the CNC and Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) trades. “We are proud to have Tommy enrolled in the CNC Machinist Apprenticeship Program.” Said Shuman. “Tommy embraces the challenge of learning new skill sets and we look forward to supporting and watching him expand his knowledge and expertise while applying his new skills here at Usheco.”

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Meet Korey: Apprentice at Kdc/One Kolmar

 

Meet Korey, CNC Apprentice at KDC/One Kolmar in Port Jervis. Kolmar is a contract manufacturer of color cosmetics and personal care products including eye makeup, lipsticks, pressed and loose powders and bath products to list a few. Korey started working at Kolmar in February as a temporary employee cleaning the facility. While working as a temp Korey learned that Kolmar was opening up an apprentice opportunity for current employees and he was quick to apply. By March Korey was enrolled in the program and ready to learn.

Korey currently lives in Port Jervis but grew up in Manhattan, NY. During high school he became interested in the trades and decided to study optics for a few years between high school and college. Studying this trade gave Korey the opportunity to learn something new while getting to work with his hands, two things he told us he loves to do. He later went on to attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice for 2 years in New York City.

When he decided to move up to Port Jervis to be closer to his family, he started out working at Walmart as a stock associate. He spent his time stocking the shelves, assisting customers and helping out wherever possible. Not long after, he took the temp position at Kolmar with the hope that it would grow into something more. Being a CNC Apprentice has given Korey the opportunity to gain hands on experience with lathes, mills, band saws and much more. He now has access to different departments throughout the company and a team of coworkers backing him up and helping him learn.

When we asked Korey what made him want to become a CNC apprentice he told us, “I wanted to be part of the team and to have a purpose. Being in the apprentice program has given me a family at Kolmar and made me feel like I’m part of something.” He works closely with his supervisor and a small group of machinists who have taught him how to read blueprints, make tools and run machines.

Outside of work Korey is also getting related instruction through Tooling-U, an online learning platform specifically for the manufacturing industry. On his own time Korey is taking courses to supplement the experience he’s gaining at work. He told us that after completing each course he sits with his supervisor to review the material and go over any additional questions he might have. This also serves as an opportunity for Korey’s supervisor to relate the material back to his current projects and tasks at Kolmar.

Apprentices in the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program are required to complete 144 hours of related instruction each year. Many apprentices take advantage of other opportunities outside of Tooling-U including in-house training and courses at local community colleges to complete their hours. SUNY Ulster has also received the SUNY Apprenticeship grant, which allows registered apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade related classes for free.

Korey told us that he’s excited and proud to work at Kolmar and be a registered apprentice. His hard work and eagerness have been instrumental in helping him move up from a temporary position to a full-time apprentice. If you or someone you know is looking to pursue a career in manufacturing, consider joining the Kolmar team. You can easily apply to all available positions online at www.kdc-one.com/careers. Search for jobs based on department, upload a resume and fill in a simple application form to apply today! You can also view other currently available manufacturing positions throughout the Hudson Valley on the Council of Industry’s job board: www.HVMfgjobs.com. 

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Meet Peter – Apprentice at Sono-Tek

 

Meet Peter, a CNC Machinist at Sono-Tek Corporation in Milton, NY for the past 2 years. Sono-Tek currently has two apprentices in the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program; Elaine, an apprentice registered under the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) trade (you can read more about Elaine’s story here), and Peter who is registered as a CNC Machinist. Sono-Tek has been the leader in ultrasonic coating solutions for over 35 years, supplying equipment to a variety of industries worldwide, including medical, textiles, glass, electronics and food processing. Peter’s responsibilities at Sono-Tek vary but he spends the majority of his time setting up the CNC machines with the appropriate tooling and cutting parameters.

Peter grew up in Salt Point, NY and attended Ketcham High School. While in school Peter began to develop an interest in IT. After graduation he attended Ridley Lowell – a business, technical and trade school located in Poughkeepsie, NY before its closure in early 2018. Through the connections he made at Ridley Lowell he found his first position in the manufacturing industry at an optics company in Irvington, NY.

Peter first gained experience with CNC machines during the 3 years he spent in his previous job. His position required the operation of lathes machines with diamond turning. Peter explained to us that diamond turning is a much simpler process than what’s required of him in his current position, but it helped him gain the basic skills he needed to be successful at Sono-Tek.

When Peter realized that his work was no longer challenging, he began looking for a position where he could utilize his new skills, and that’s when he found Sono-Tek. He told us, “This position has offered me a chance to continue leaning and growing within the manufacturing industry.” He also said that he’s learned a lot so far including the set-up of over 20 different tools. The apprentice program has even given him the opportunity to gain some experience in programming to satisfy his continued interest in IT.

Peter joined the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program in February as a CNC Machinist trade after the opportunity was offered to him by his supervisor. He told us that the chance to gain more knowledge and strengthen his skills was what initially attracted him to the program. Peter told us that so far he’s not only sharpened his knowledge of CNC, he’s also gotten to explore and learn from other departments as a result of being in the program. The apprentice program has continued to expose him to different departments and opportunities to learn while on the job.

The Apprentice Program requires a combination of both on-the-job training and related instruction hours. On-the-job training needs the presence of a journey-level worker to guide and instruct the apprentice while at work. Related Instruction hours can be achieved through a variety of platforms. Each registered apprentice receives a free subscription to Tooling-U an online learning platform designed specifically for the manufacturing industry.

Opportunities for related instruction are also available at local community colleges. As a result of the SUNY Apprenticeship grant, SUNY Ulster offers registered apprentices up to $5,000 worth of trade related courses for free. Many companies, like Sono-Tek for example, provide regular on-site training to employees that can also count towards an apprentice’s related instruction hours.

Sono-Tek has been incredibly supportive of both the Council of Industry and the apprentice program. The continued dedication of Vince Whipple and Ed Bozydaj has helped make the program a reality for Sono-Tek employees. “Companies like Sono-Tek are the reason programs like this are successful, they are always looking for meaningful ways to support their employees and remain ahead of the curve” said Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development at the Council of Industry.

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Meet Forrest: Apprentice at MPI

 

Forrest has been working as a Sub Assembly Technician 2 at MPI for the past two years. MPI is the worldwide leader in wax-room equipment and has been involved in the investment casting industry for nearly 50 years. Since Forrest is trained in multiple facets throughout the company his job often varies from day to day. In general, it requires the assembling of components to the standards provided by the engineering department. However, he also enjoys helping out and interacting with other departments whenever possible.

Forrest grew up and attended high school in Hyde Park, NY. While attending FDR High School he took advantage of the local BOCES programs. At the time Forrest showed an interest in auto-mechanics and spent a year attending BOCES for hands-on training. However, his interests were diverse and he also discovered a passion for micro-biology. After high school Forrest decided to explore that interest further at Dutchess Community College. There he got his Associates Degree in General Biology and Chemistry.

After college he tried out several jobs in various industries before starting at MPI. He spent some time working for New York State Parks as well as Home Depot and gained some valuable work experience along the way. During his time at Home Depot he learned how to work his way up within a company. Starting out as a part-time employee pushing carts Forrest quickly made his way into the lumber department working full-time before the end of his probationary period.

When it came time for a career change Forrest learned about MPI from an old friend. Taking from his experience at Home Depot, he was able to quickly move up the ranks at MPI as well. He started in the Box Room cutting holes in the electrical boxes for the wires and buttons to later be input. He was able to move into his current position by offering to help other departments whenever he had down time. The knowledge he gained from working directly with other departments allowed him to cross-train himself and become a more valuable asset to the company.

Working in the manufacturing industry is entirely new to Forrest and he’s gained many new skills. Besides skills though, Forrest told us that he’s also learned that “any one worker, no matter how small, can have an impact throughout the world.” Forrest explained to us that MPI has customers from around the world including some in Ireland, China, Korea, and across the United States. He’s played a role in creating machines that will later go into the aerospace and medical industries to name a few. Forrest takes pride in the fact that his job at MPI can indirectly make an impact on people’s lives internationally.

Forrest found out about the NYS registered apprentice program from his supervisor who strongly encouraged him to register. He officially joined the program in January under the Electro-Mechanical Technician trade. He said that the opportunity to earn a nationally recognized accreditation as a journey level worker is what encouraged him to join and continues to motivate him. Forrest hopes to become more valuable as an employee through the experience he’s gaining as a registered apprentice, and he’s excited about the amount of skills and knowledge he’s gained thus far.

Forrest will also be featured in an upcoming video about careers in manufacturing sponsored by Tompkins Mahopac Bank. The Council of Industry’s project, Go Make It, is working with Stage 6 Media to create the video, which will highlight modern manufacturing and the high-quality jobs available. The video will be used to inspire and inform young adults about the manufacturing industry and the opportunities available right here in the Hudson Valley.

The Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program currently offers six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician and typically takes two to four years to complete. The program requires apprentices to complete a combination of related instruction as well as on-the-job training hours. Forrest is completing his related instruction hours through Tooling-U, an online learning platform that is available to each registered apprentice. Outside of Tooling-U Forrest is also considering taking advantage of the SUNY Apprenticeship grant, which allows apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade related courses for free at SUNY Ulster.

If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

 

 

 

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Meet Mary Jane – Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

 

Mary Jane is the Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) in the seven counties: Sullivan, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia and Rockland. Her job is to work with partners in the region on expanding, promoting and retaining the workforce. Mary Jane works with non-profits, unions, businesses, government and education providers to identify regional workforce challenges and find solutions to those problems. WDI also gathers data on the jobs of tomorrow and uses that information to help prepare the future workforce and employers in an effort to keep those jobs in the region.

WDI is a statewide non-profit organization with a range of tools – including ground level information, workforce expertise, and funding – to facilitate projects that build skills and strengthen employers’ ability to hire and promote workers. This often fills gaps not covered by other organizations and is accomplished through partnerships and collaborations.

Mary Jane has helped countless organizations within the Hudson Valley region, including the Council of Industry. She played a big role in launching the Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprentice Program and maintaining its success. Every registered company is eligible for $2,000 per apprentice to offset the cost of running the program. Mary Jane helped to simplify the application process for this money by creating a “common app.” Participating companies are now only required to fill in a small section of information in a pre-populated application form, significantly reducing the amount of time and paperwork this process would typically demand. This has been a huge factor in motivating participating companies to apply for the grant. “The apprentice program model has proven itself to be the best way to prepare and train your upcoming workforce.” Said Mary Jane, “It’s important to expand and deepen these opportunities.”

The Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program officially reached over 60 Apprentices in April and continues to grow. The program is supporting apprentices all throughout the Hudson Valley region and on Long Island. Through a combination of on-the-job training and related instruction the program is designed to help improve and expand upon the apprentices’ overall understanding of the trade as well as the manufacturing industry overall. There are currently six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. Upon completion of the program apprentices receive a nationally recognized accreditation as a journey level worker.

Mary Jane has made a major impact on the manufacturing industry specifically. She’s done her part in helping to keep manufacturers from leaving the state when they outgrow their facilities, and helped companies “upscale” some of their employees with grants to pay for online training. Many companies can become intimidated by the thought of applying for grants. However, WDI has an interactive grant program that simplifies and streamlines the application process. Regional staff work with you directly to understand the issues at hand and then help develop a response. Once completed, turnaround is quick, allowing the entire process to move forward in a timely manner.

Mary Jane’s efforts have not gone unrecognized. WDI was honored last Friday, May 17th, at the 2019 Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast. WDI was recognized as the organization champion for their work in identifying targeted strategies that address workforce development opportunities and challenges. WDI believes that a healthy manufacturing base is a key driver to grow the rest of the economy and they’re interested in seeing the new jobs of manufacturing – with solid wages and career trajectories – come to New York State. Mary Jane was unable to attend the event, but Sonja Brown, Regional Director in Westchester who has also worked closely with the Council of Industry and many of its members, was able to accept the award.

Mary Jane’s hard work and dedication has been a huge help to the Council of Industry and many of its members. She has been supportive in many other initiatives beyond just the apprentice program. If you’re interested in speaking with Mary Jane about how she can help you, you can contact her at mjbertram@wdiny.org If you’re located in Putnam or Westchester county you can reach Sonja Brown at sbrown@wdiny.org.

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Meet Todd – Apprentice at Pietryka Plastics

 

Todd has been working at Pietryka Plastics for the past 7 months as a Machine Operator. He works the night shift and spends his time making sure the machines are up and running efficiently.  Pietryka Plastics is a leader in the injection-molding business. Through the use of high-tech robotics they supply custom plastic parts to a wide range of industries including: cosmetic, pharmaceutical, automotive, packaging, and electronics.

Todd was born and raised in Connecticut and moved to New York just over 16 years ago. He’s worked in a variety of different industries throughout his career including retail, landscaping, automotive and manufacturing. In high school his primary interest was in the automotive industry. Although his high school at the time was cutting vocational education programs, Todd was able to convince his teachers to allow him to bring in his car for himself and his classmates to work on. He spent most of his free time rebuilding lawn mower engines and fixing up his car.

After high school he entered the workforce as an Automotive Technician in Connecticut. For nearly 20 years he spent his time working on cars and trucks, a passion he realized early on in life. Todd first entered the manufacturing industry when he began working at Pietryka as a Machine Operator. From the start he enjoyed being able to work with his hands and he learned the trade fairly quickly. He worked at Pietryka for 8 years, but when things slowed down he went on to do other things for a few years before returning about 7 months ago.

Todd learned about the apprentice program from his supervisor and was eager to join. They worked together to determine how best to accommodate his night shift schedule. The Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program requires a combination of both on-the-job training and related instruction, and Todd was worried that his work schedule would make it difficult for him to complete his related instruction courses. They were able to come to a solution and Todd now arrives 30 minutes early to each shift and spends time working on his Tooling-U courses.

Apprentices get a free subscription to Tooling-U, an online training platform designed specifically for the manufacturing industry, to help them complete the required 144 hours of yearly related instruction. Todd told us he was hesitant to use the program, and worried that because he learns much better in hands-on scenarios that online classes would be a challenge for him. However, he’s been pleasantly surprised at how simple the program has been for him to navigate thus far.

Todd told us that each class he’s completed has taught him something new. He said “I’m thankful to have been given this opportunity and the chance to accomplish new things.” Todd’s registered under the Industrial Manufacturing Technician (IMT) trade and he’s currently about two months into the year and a half long program.

The IMT trade is the Council of Industry’s newest approved trade. The program is shorter than the others and allows employees of different industries and backgrounds to gain a better understanding of manufacturing while receiving the benefits of being a registered apprentice. Apprentices that show an aptitude for other trades while in the program can later go into longer apprenticeships for fields such as maintenance mechanic, toolmaker or CNC machinist. Thus far the IMT trade has been popular with employees entering the manufacturing field for the first time with an interest to learn and grow within the industry.

The apprentice program typically takes two to four years to complete, and there are currently six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Meet Bruce – Apprentice at Elna Magnetics

 

Bruce has been working at Elna Magnetics in Saugerties, NY for the past 6 months as a Machine Operator. During his time at Elna he’s learned how to use cutting machines, grinders, mills and how to handle ferrite materials. In 1955 Elna was founded as a custom machine shop providing specialized ferrite cores to the electronics industry. Today they continue to provide custom machining services as well as authorized distribution of Ferroxcube, Fair-Rite Products, EPCOS ferrite and much more. Their products can be found on driverless tractor trailers, missile defense and drilling equipment.

Bruce grew up and attended high school in Daytona Beach, FL but eventually made his way back up to New York. He’s enjoyed working with his hands from a young age, and as a kid he spent his time constructing and playing with his Erector Set. After high school he didn’t initially consider going into the manufacturing field, but his career naturally led him down that path and he’s enjoyed it ever since.

Before becoming a machinist Bruce worked in assembly. He didn’t have any prior experience working with CNC machines but was able to work his way up and learned quickly. “I fell into it and I’ve enjoyed it ever since,” said Bruce “making different parts everyday and being able to work with my hands is what I like the most.”

Bruce just recently registered as an apprentice under the CNC Machinist trade. He told us he still has a lot to learn and he’s looking forward to gaining more knowledge about the industry as a whole while in the program.

Elna Magnetics is actively making an effort to invest in their employees and create an environment for growth. The apprentice program has given Elna a formalized way of providing their staff with the tools and resources needed to be successful. “I’m excited to have Elna onboard” said Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development and Apprentice Coordinator at the Council of Industry. “It’s nice to see companies investing in their staff and preparing their workforce for the future.” Elna offered Bruce the opportunity to join the apprentice program after quickly realizing his potential, and they’re currently in discussion with Ms. Hansen on how to offer this program to other members of their team.

Apprentices gain a well-rounded understanding of the trade through a combination of related instruction courses and on-the-job training. Related Instruction courses can be completed online through a free subscription to Tooling-U, or in a classroom. SUNY Ulster currently offers an Advanced Manufacturing Program, which allows apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade-related courses for free.

In just over a year the Council of Industry’s Apprentice Program has reached over 60 registered apprentices, 35 of which are located in the Hudson Valley. The program is currently supporting apprentices in Orange,  Ulster, Dutchess and Westchester County, as well as on Long Island. The successful launch of this program has been both exciting and encouraging for everyone involved.

The apprentice program typically takes two to four years to complete, and there are currently six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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Let’s Get Real about the Skills Gap and Start Solving It

From IndustryWeek, By Michael Collins 

A 2018 survey published by the Manufacturing Institute says that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next decade and 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled. Now there are people who say this skills gap is a lie. But the fact is that as skilled people retired, manufacturing companies, particularly the multi-national corporations, did not invest in the advanced training programs to replace the retiring workers.

We are 500,000 workers short today. A recent article in Industry Week said that “during the first quarter of 2019 more than 25% of manufacturers had to turn down new business opportunities due to lack of workers.”

Read the full article

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Meet Josh – Apprentice at LoDolce Machine

 

Josh has been working at LoDolce Machine Company for a little less than a year as a Machine Operator of both Lathes and Mills. LoDolce manufacturers the parts and components needed to produce safe, high quality products. Their parts can be found in New York subways, x-ray machines, fighter planes and more.

When Josh started working at LoDolce last year it came with a bit of a learning curve. He came into the position with a vast amount of prior experience within the manufacturing industry. However, learning to work with metal and the different grains of steel used at LoDolce was a challenge he hadn’t yet faced in his career.

Josh grew up right here in the Hudson Valley. In high school he never considered a career in manufacturing. After graduation he decided to attend the University of Providence in Great Falls, Montana where he was gearing towards a career in either accounting or law; but before he finished his degree Josh returned home to Beacon, NY where he began working full-time.

He spent some time working in construction and later entered the manufacturing industry. Before working at LoDolce Josh was a Lathes Operator and Programmer at Saturn Industries in Hudson. He started at the bottom and eventually worked his way up to CNC Machining. He first learned about CNC machines during a 2-week class with Questar III BOCES in Hudson, and the instructor later recommended him for the job at Saturn Industries.

Josh joined the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program last summer shortly after he started at LoDolce. He’s currently registered under the Machinist (CNC) trade and has taken a variety of related instruction courses while also receiving on-the-job training. Josh first learned about the program from Mark Harris, Director of Manufacturing at LoDolce. Josh said that, “the chance to become a better machinist – and the ability to take on a greater amount of responsibility while having a better understanding of the work” were his primary reasons for joining the program.

Registered apprentices are required to complete 144 hours of related instruction for each year they’re in the program. To help apprentices complete these hours they are each provided with a free subscription to Tooling-U, which allows them to take online courses at their convenience. Additionally, SUNY Ulster has an Advanced Manufacturing Program that allows apprentices to take up to $5,000 worth of trade related courses for free.

Josh enjoys his career as a CNC Machinist and he’s excited to be a part of the apprentice program. He told us, “I really enjoy making things. There are new challenges every day and it’s rewarding when you can come up with solutions to those challenges.”

The demand for CNC Machinists continues to grow, and that need is felt throughout the Hudson Valley. CNC Machinists are hard to find and as the older generations transition into retirement, young people don’t have the skills needed to replace them. The Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice program is one potential source to help fill these open positions. Through formal training this program can provide apprentices that have an aptitude for machining with the necessary skills to be successful.

The Apprentice Program consists of both related instruction courses and on-the-job training. Related Instruction courses are taken by the apprentice outside of work and teach more knowledge-based facets of the trade. On-the-job training requires a journey-level employee, capable and willing to share their experience, to work with the apprentice in hands-on instruction. Combined these two elements provide the apprentice with a more well-rounded understanding of the trade.

The apprentice program typically takes two to four years to complete, and there are currently six registered trades: Machinist (CNC)Electro-Mechanical TechnicianMaintenance MechanicQuality Assurance AuditorToolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

 

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Meet Greg – Apprentice at Viking Industries

 

Greg has been working at Viking Industries in New Paltz, NY for the past 9 years as an Industrial Mechanic. He spends his days fixing, repairing and troubleshooting everything from forklifts to press machines. Over the years he’s become the go-to person when anyone has a problem that needs fixing.

Greg grew up locally and continues to live in Clintondale just a short drive from work.  In high school he didn’t anticipate pursuing a career in the manufacturing field and he never attended a BOCES program. After high school he decided to study engineering. While pursuing his degree he attended several colleges including RPI and SUNY New Paltz.

While he was still in college Greg began working at Viking on the weekends. Greg’s father is the Maintenance Supervisor at Viking and asked Greg to help wherever he might be needed. The majority of his responsibilities included fixing and repairing machines.

Greg also spent some time working as a custom cabinetry builder at Apuzzo Kitchens prior to working at Viking. However, he eventually decided to leave school and work at Viking Industries full-time. He’s been working as an Industrial Mechanic ever since. Greg learned how to adjust and repair equipment from his dad. Growing up they would work together on fixing cars and tractors. Today he’s able to use and expand on those skills he learned as a kid, while still getting to work with his dad.

Greg joined the Council of Industry’s registered apprentice program in September of 2018 under the maintenance mechanic trade. Since then he’s taken a variety of related instruction courses while also receiving on-the-job training. Greg said that he first learned about the apprentice program from Richard Croce, President of Viking Industries. He said that “the opportunity for continued education” was what made him want to become a registered apprentice.

Greg was also awarded 3 years of previous credit because of his extensive past experience, which reduced the program length from four years to one. He said that so far the Council of Industry has made the process straightforward and easy to get started. The NYS Registered Apprentice Program consists of both related instruction courses and on-the-job training. Related Instruction courses are taken by the apprentice outside of work and teach more knowledge-based facets of the trade. On-the-job training requires a journey-level employee, capable and willing to share their experience, to work with the apprentice in hands-on instruction. Combined these two elements provide the apprentice with a more well-rounded understanding of the trade.

The apprentice program typically takes four years to complete, and there are currently six different registered trades: Machinist (CNC), Electro-Mechanical Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565-1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

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The Council of Industry’s Collaborative Recruiting Program Is Helping Hudson Valley Manufacturers Find the Talent they Need

When Johnnieanne Hansen began her role as Director of Workforce Development and Apprentice Coordinator for the Council of Industry her first priority was to recruit companies to participate in the newly formed Intermediary Apprentice Program. Her first order of business was to visit with member CEO’s and HR professionals to pitch the idea.  What she heard from them, while not completely surprising, did raise some alarm bells in her head and prompted her to rethink her priorities.

“They loved the apprentice idea, they really did.  They recognized that it was one solution to finding the skilled workers they needed.” Ms. Hansen remembers. “But they also said that they did not have the time to think about apprentices or to take on a project like that because they ‘need people now!’  So unless I was walking in with people on my shoulders for them to hire, they had more pressing recruiting problems.”

She prodded them further about how they were recruiting and where they were finding candidates.  As she did so an idea began take shape in her mind that these small and mid-sized manufacturers, all different, yet all a little alike, could pool their resources to market careers with Hudson Valley manufacturers and develop a system to organize and manage candidates.

Thus, in March of 2018 the Collaborative Recruiting Initiative was hatched.

“In my previous positions as a recruiter and corporate trainer I had done some research into Applicant Tracking Systems. It occurred to me that the Council could purchase a subscription and make the service available to participating members.”  Hansen said.  “Hiring managers get a system where they can post jobs, sort and track candidates and get other resources and support throughout the hiring process. Posted jobs are distributed to over 100 job boards like: Indeed, Hotjobs, Monster, Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn and Glassdoor.”

Additionally, all the jobs are listed in one place www.HVMfgJobs.com and a social media marketing campaign is in place to encourage people to visit the site.  The campaign is designed to target individuals most likely to be interested in careers in manufacturing.

“We thought that this might be a valuable tool for our members.  A way to give them some resources that are otherwise not accessible to them, or at least cost probative.” Hansen added.

The program launched in March 2018 with 10 companies posting about 25 jobs. Today 29 participating companies keep roughly 100 jobs posted at any point in time at www.HVMfgJobs.com.  There have been more than 100 positions filled in that time from nearly 5,000 applicants.

“It’s working.” Says Hansen. “Of course it could be better.”  She suggests that more could be done to take advantage of the applicant pool and that marketing the positions and Hudson Valley Manufacturing, in general, could be stronger.   “Every additional company that participates, every additional job that gets posted makes the program stronger,” Hansen said. “We’re good, it’s solid and it will be even better in 12 more months.”

All Council members are welcome to participate in the Collaborative Recruiting Program and its new pricing model will make it easier for any firm to participate. If you want to learn more visit https://careers.councilofindustry.org/manufacturing or email Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org

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The Blue-Collar Drought

 

Many people believed that robots and machines would one day take over blue-collar jobs, however, it’s actually resulted in the exact opposite. Artificial intelligence, robotics and the internet have only created more jobs. Blue-collar Industries still need workers to make sure those robots are designed, built, maintained and run efficiently.

However, today’s candidate-driven job market is falling short on delivering the blue-collar workers that many industries need.  Unemployment continues to fall, as well as the number of workers entering the blue-collar sector. By 2028 its expected that there could be as many as 2.4 million unfilled manufacturing jobs, which could result in an estimated $2.5 trillion negative economic impact on the US.

The amount of job openings in manufacturing is increasing each year, and the percentage of workers in manufacturing positions has fallen to less than 13 percent of the labor force. There are variety of causes to this shortage. Many people believe that the term “blue-collar worker” now has a negative connotation. People associate blue-collar jobs with difficult, dirty work, and it’s discouraging people from applying. The use of “skilled trades worker” or “technical careerist” is being recommended instead.

Another contributing factor to this issue is the increasing number of students getting four-year college degrees after high school. Enrollment rates continue to go up each year, reaching 20 million in 2015. This is likely due to parent’s perception of blue-collar jobs and the mind-set that college will lead to a better life. Yet many students leave college with substantial debt and enter the workforce with low-paying jobs. A college degree no longer guarantees a secure or well-paying job like it once did.

“Overseas, countries are promoting and capitalizing on skills training, while we [in the U.S.] started promoting college degrees. That’s what we put in front of our kids every day. That’s what they see on TV. Overseas they said, ‘Hey we’re going to gain on the U.S. by teaching manufacturing.”

Many people also don’t fully understand the benefits of a blue-collar job. There is a misconception that they’re low-paying jobs that require a low skill level. However, many of these jobs require less than a college degree but pay more than some professional “white-collar” positions.

The nationwide skills-gap is another obstacle that gets repeatedly discussed. Vocational education programs are disappearing in high schools, and many companies aren’t willing to invest in programs that can help develop skills in young-employees. Many manufacturing companies want and need employees with up to 5 years of past experience, but that’s increasingly rare to find.

However, even with all of this there are many positive initiatives being put into place across the county that are helping to promote these jobs. Many high schools are beginning to invest more heavily in STEM programs and trade-skills training. Companies are putting apprentice programs into place to help develop vocational skills internally. By opening up these apprenticeships to high school students they’re also exposing young adults to the manufacturing industry early and helping to prevents those stigmas from ever being formed.

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) is involved in apprenticeship and skilled-trade training programs to help build the future workforce. And in the summer of 2018 the President also signed an executive order designed to better align government training programs and retaining older workers without college degrees. All of these efforts together are working to close the skills-gap and eliminate misconceptions about blue-collar workers.

 The Council of Industry is also making efforts to combat the skills-gap right here in the Hudson Valley with their NYS Registered Apprentice Program. The program consists of both related instruction and on-the-job training. It typically takes about four years to complete the program, and there are currently 6 registered trades to choose from: Machinist (CNC), Electro-Mechanical Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker, and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you’re a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information, or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or (845) 565-1355 to discuss details, requirements and potential opportunities.

For more information read the full article here.

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New York State Apprentice Program Information Session

On December 6th the Council of Industry held an information session for members interested in the New York State Registered Apprenticeship Program. While it was well attended, there maybe be some members that were not able to attend but are interested in receiving more information.

The NYS registered apprenticeship program has two basic requirements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, skilled worker capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner.

The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a trade. This related instruction component requires apprentices to complete 144 hours of classroom or online training per year.

The process to complete an apprenticeship can take between 16 months and 4 years, but exceptions can be made for someone with previous experience.

Available Trades:

 

Where do the apprentices come from?

Existing Employees – Tools for Retention

An apprentice can be an existing employee who you are seeking to retain or develop for advancement. In this case, your current employee would have access to free online and classroom training to augment the on the job training provided. This model lends itself to the continuous development of employees while backfilling entry-level staff with a clear path for skills development.

New Employee – Career Path Opportunity

Companies can enroll their newly hired employee into an apprenticeship program. This allows new employees a formalized skills development path, access to additional training resources and onboarding assistance.

Searching for New Talent – Recruiting Tool

Job seekers are looking for steady work with the opportunity for advancement. Many job seekers are drawn to apprenticeships and jobs posted as ‘apprenticeable’ traditionally receive more applicants. If you are unsure where to start to recruit potential apprentices, learn more about our recruiting initiative and our candidate pool resources.


Incentives…Incentives and More Incentives

It’s a great time to implement an apprenticeship program. We have partnered with various organizations to offer incentives to registered apprentices.

  • SUNY Apprenticeship Grant – Registered apprentices may have the opportunity to receive up $5,000 worth of courses at SUNY Community Colleges.
  • WDI, Workforce Development Institute – WDI is offering up to $2,000 per registered apprentice to offset the trainers time.
  • NYS Tax Credits – NYS offers $2,000+ tax credit per apprentice; this amount increases each year eventually offer $5,000 per apprentice.
  • Free online training – Each registered apprentice receives a Tooling U license to complete online trade specific training. $500+ value.
  • Administrative help – The Council of Industry manages the administrative aspects of the program. This includes registration, department of labor requirements and setup.

What’s in it for the apprentice?

Upon completion, the apprentice will be registered with the department of labor as a certified tradesman. For example, an apprentice who completes 8,000 hours as a CNC apprentice will receive a certification from NYS DOL and a pocket card identifying him as a Certified CNC Machinist. The apprentice will also earn foundational knowledge and skills to increase their income and potentially qualify for future advancement.

What’s in it for the company?

Most of our members indicate that workforce is their number one concern. Many of them also indicate they are hiring and training on the job. The apprentice program allows companies to enhance their current training program while creating a clear pathway that makes sense to job seekers and employees alike. Companies participating in the program are always training and developing the skills of their employees, this allows them to fill jobs from within and build the talent they need instead of hoping to find the unique skills necessary to fill positions. It is a retention tool to keep employees engaged and a recruiting tool to help differentiate your company.

The on-the-job training is done with someone from your company that already performs that trade and can be the journeyman for the apprentice to learn from. The program requires between 4,000 and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training dependant on the trade. An internship or previous training in that trade can count towards these hours. Much of this time is not instructional but time that the apprentice practices the skills taught by the journeyman while performing his work tasks. Hours are logged each day by the apprentice in relation to which skill was covered during that day’s labor.

The related instruction portion of the training can be done through an online training program called Tooling U, which is free to registered apprentices or through the local community colleges which also are offering related instruction free to registered apprentices. Time spent on this instruction can be paid or unpaid as determined by the company. The apprentice is required to complete 144 hours of related instruction each year.

There is a wage progression required as the apprentice becomes more skilled, but the company sets the starting wage and the rate of progression. Since this is a government backed program anyone that completes it will have a national certification. This is an excellent tool for companies looking to recruit people into these trades and a good way to keep people that are already showing potential.

The Council of Industry is the only organization in the Hudson Valley able to act as a sponsor and administrate this program. We are also in the process of creating a pipeline of possible apprentices but for now, it is best to consider someone you already have working at your company that has potential and interest in becoming a master of one of the trades above.

Even if you are on the fence about registering an apprentice you can still start the paperwork so that once you are ready to go it is a shorter process. There currently is no charge to register an apprentice but there this is something that may change in the future. There is also no penalty for changing your mind. If an apprentice is not working out, you can discontinue the program or switch to a new person and start over. It is relatively painless to register and just requires meeting with Johnnieanne, the Apprentice Coordinator for The Council of Industry, and signing a few papers. If you still have a question or better yet are ready to sign up, contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or call (845) 565-1355.

 

 

 

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The Many Advantages of Apprenticeship Programs

 

Apprenticeship Programs are becoming a popular method of addressing the manufacturing skills gap, but not everyone is aware of the additional benefits they can provide. Interest in STEM is increasing around the county and students are beginning to consider their options outside of college. In order to prepare this young workforce for a career in manufacturing many companies are joining or adopting their own apprenticeship programs.

An obvious advantage of these programs is that they provide an organized way of directly addressing the industry-wide skills shortage. The skills gap seems to be ever increasing with the rapid advancements in technology, and these programs help companies keep up. Enrolling capable and eager employees in apprentice programs allows them to gain the additional skills and knowledge needed to perform better at work. This creates an environment filled with highly skilled employees that have the ability to adapt and grow with the company.

Apprentice Programs can also establish a culture that is rooted in learning and growth, which is important for the long-term success of a company as markets change. The new-found confidence that comes with your company investing in you can inspire apprentices to ask more questions and challenge day-to-day processes. These fresh new perspectives can lead to improvements throughout all departments of a company.

However, the most important advantage of apprentice programs may be their ability to aid in the retention of quality employees. As many manufacturers know, finding qualified, capable and eager candidates to fill open positions has become a challenge, but it can often be even more challenging to keep them. Providing apprentices with a deeper understanding of the company can instill a sense of loyalty and devotion to the company that choose to invest in their success.

The Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprentice Program provides apprentices with a nationally recognized accreditation as a journey-level worker upon completion of the program. The program consists of both related instruction courses and on-the-job training to provide apprentices with a well-rounded understanding of the trade. There are currently eight different registered trades available: Machinist (CNC), Electro-Mechanical Technician, Electronics Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker, Welder and Industrial Manufacturing Technician.

The program typically takes about four years to complete and provides our members with all of the advantages previously outlined. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information, or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565 – 1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements, and potential opportunities.

To view currently available apprenticeship positions click here or email your resume to jobs@councilofindustry.org.

For the full article about apprenticeship programs and their advantages click here.

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Meet Rob – Apprentice at Zierick Manufacturing

 

Rob has been working at Zierick Manufacturing Corporation in Mount Kisco, NY for the past 4 years as a Tool Room Apprentice. Rob was born and raised in Yonkers where he attended Saunders Trades and Technical High School. He applied to the high school in order to get a well-rounded education that wove vocational and academic instruction into each student’s curriculum. Saunders Trades and Technical High School teaches students a variety of vocational skills including heating, electric wiring and carpentry to list a few.

Rob knew from a young age that he wanted to work with his hands. Upon graduation he was faced with the choice to enter the workforce with the skills he learned in high school, or go to college and pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He decided to do both. He began working at Coventry Manufacturing while simultaneously attending classes at Westchester Community College (WCC). After two years at WCC Rob attended Manhattan College where he graduated two years later with his degree in Mechanical Engineering.

It was at WCC that Rob found out about Zierick Manufacturing from a friend. He took the position as a Tool Room Apprentice and began his journey as an apprentice in Zierick’s in-house apprenticeship program. Zierick became a part of the Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program in 2018 and extended the opportunity to their current apprentices and employees. Rob happily accepted the opportunity to become a part of a New York State recognized program and registered as a Toolmaker Apprentice.

Rob has begun taking his related instruction courses online and hopes to learn a lot throughout this process. In the long-term Rob wants to help bridge the gap between manufacturing and engineering and he believes this apprenticeship program will help make that possible. The related instruction courses provide apprentices with a chance to dive deeper into more theoretical aspects of the craft that most employees wouldn’t otherwise get.

The Council of Industry’s Registered Apprentice Program consists of both related instruction courses and on-the-job training. Related Instruction courses are taken by the apprentice outside of work and teach more knowledge-based facets of the trade. On-the-job training requires journey-level crafts people, capable and willing to share their experience, to work with the apprentice in hands-on instruction. Combined these two elements provide the apprentice with a more well-rounded understanding of the trade.

The apprenticeship program typically takes four years to complete, and there are currently eight different registered trades: Machinist (CNC), Electro-Mechanical Technician, Electronics Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Auditor, Toolmaker, Welder, and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information, or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565 – 1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements, and potential opportunities.

Zierick Manufacturing, located in Mt. Kisco, is a leading source for complex interconnection requirements and problems. If you’re interested in a job at Zierick Manufacturing click here to view all available position or email your resume to jobs@councilofindustry.org.

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Meet Zach – Apprentice at Stanfordville Machine

 

Zachary has spent the past 3 months at Stanfordville Machine & Manufacturing Company as a Machine Operator, and recently registered as a pre-apprentice in The Council of Industry’s NYS Registered Apprenticeship Program. Originally from Poughquag, NY Zach attended Arlington High School where he actively enrolled himself in all of the technology and woodworking classes offered. After high school Zach attended SUNY Morrisville for a year to study furniture design.

Once Zach realized he learned better outside of a classroom setting he decided to pursue a trade. Manufacturing gave him the opportunity to learn while working with his hands. He first spent two years as an Assembler for a manufacturing company in Wappingers Falls before taking his current position at Stanfordville.

His time at Stanfordville thus far has been filled with learning experiences. Coming into the position with no prior Machine Operator experience, everything is new. With the help of his supervisor and senior coworkers Zach has managed to take on this new role and learn a lot along the way.

Zach’s move to Stanfordville was largely motivated by his desire to become part of an apprenticeship program. His search led him to Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development at the Council of Industry. Johnnieanne was able to work with Zach to help him find a position that had the potential to fill his desire of becoming a registered apprentice.

When asked about the apprentice program Zach said he was especially, “looking forward to becoming a skilled worker, rather than a laborer.” He’s excited to learn a skill that requires critical thinking and thought processes. Zach is enrolled in the CNC Machinist Registered Trade Program, where he will take a variety of related instruction courses as well as participate in on-the-job training.

The Council of Industry’s Manufacturing Alliance Apprenticeship Program is an employer-led public-private program for registered apprentices in manufacturing occupations. The program typically takes four years to completes and includes a combination of on-the-job training, which consists of journey level employees capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, and related instruction courses to include more theoretical and knowledge-based aspects of the craft.

There are currently eight registered trades in the Council of Industry’s program: Machinist (CNC), Electro-Mechanical Technician, Electronics Technician, Maintenance Mechanic, Quality Assurance Operator, Toolmaker, Welder, and Industrial Manufacturing Technician. If you are a manufacturing employer or a potential apprentice click here for more information, or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at (845) 565 – 1355 or jhansen@councilofindustry.org to discuss details, requirements, and potential opportunities.

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