Careers in Manufacturing

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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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  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  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 or email Johnnieanne Hansen at

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Increase Hiring Success in 5 Simple Steps


Today’s job market is candidate-driven, and with the unemployment rate steadily falling companies need to competitively pursue quality candidates. Especially in the manufacturing industry where companies are struggling to catch these quality candidates before they’re snatched up. This means that old hiring practices must be updated to better suit the market. However, completely revising these processes takes significant time and money. Luckily there are five simple adjustments that hiring managers can implement today to increase success.

Accelerating the interview process can make a major difference. When the process gets dragged on candidates can lose interest or accept a position elsewhere. An easy first step to making this a reality is examining the current timeline and finding potential hold ups. A shorter hiring process can go a long way in the eyes of a candidate.

Consistent communication is also important. Communicating with candidates constantly will keep them engaged and reduce ambiguity. This is especially critical when there is a delay in the process. Communicating at least once a week is recommended, even when there is nothing new to report.

Posting jobs on mobile platforms is a more convenient way to reach candidates. When candidates have the ability to view a positions from a mobile devise they’re more likely to apply. Eliminating the need for candidates to access a computer will increase the amount of applicants.

Transparency is key! Be upfront with candidates about salary and benefits. Waiting until you extend an offer is too late to inform candidates of these details.

Finally, make a competitive offer. Do the research to find out what other companies are offering candidates for similar positions. It would be a waste of time to go through the entire interview process and make an offer that isn’t competitive. Being informed will allow you to make a competitive offer the first time.

For more details read the full article here.

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A Value Proposition with an Altruistic Twist


By Guest Blogger Stephen Casa 

Last month I wrote about the incredible opportunity businesses have to find and cultivate talent, by partnering with a local BOCES. This month I’d love to tell you what happens at one and how you can benefit. I’ll use Ulster BOCES as an example.

Ulster BOCES provides cost effective solutions to eight component school districts by offering programming for students and adults, professional development for educators, and much more. There are close to thirty, industry specific, programs offered at the Career & Technical Center, Hudson Valley Pathways Academy and Special Education Center.

Instructors and staff in these programs are highly skilled in that area, in fact, many come directly from industry with many still actively engaged. Students are given the opportunity to learn and be trained on the most current and innovative technology using industry vetted curriculum. Students are also offered authentic experiences in the local workforce such as field trips, guest speakers, job shadowing, mentoring, internships, etc. These are all managed by a workplace learning coordinator. Ulster BOCES collaborates with the county workforce development office to ensure our future workforce has the soft skills necessary to be successful in the workplace.

As you can see, a partnership with your local BOCES can be a cost effective, value add for your company.   

In 1948, the New York State legislature created Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts within the state. Today there are 37 BOCES that are partnering with nearly all of the state’s school districts to help meet students’ evolving educational needs through cost-effective and relevant programs. Learn more and find a BOCES program near you here.

     Stephen Casa
     Workplace Learning Coordinator
     Ulster BOCES

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MFG Day Events in the Hudson Valley

Students at Mfg Day

We will kick off Manufacturing Day here in the Hudson Valley early with Pine Bush High School’s First Annual Career night on October 4th from 6:30 – 8:30 at PBHS. We are inviting HV Manufacturers to register for an exhibitor booth to help inform students and parents about manufacturing jobs in the Hudson Valley.

Join over 30 Hudson Valley Manufacturers already committed to help educate parents and students about the importance of Manufacturing and potential career paths. Participating companies will have the opportunity to connect with over 250 students, their parents, and educators and discuss current and potential jobs including internships, part-time employment and apprenticeships. Help us spread the word about the importance of Manufacturing in the Hudson Valley. Find out what companies will be there below.

Then on MFG Day, October 5th we will be broadcasting live from EFCO Products, Inc. in Poughkeepsie with Tom Sipos on Hudson Valley Live. You can tune in at News Radio 1450 WKIP on iHeartRadio or 1450 on your AM radio dial. The show starts at 6 am and will feature a lineup of local manufacturers discussing the issues affecting their companies. We hope you will listen in.

Later in the day, several companies are hosting local students for tours. Ametek Rotron in Woodstock will be hosting students from Pine Bush and Sono-Tek in Milton will be giving tours to students from Highland. Nexans will be holding an event at their facility in Chester, NY as well.

It is never too late to take part in MFG Day. You can still sign up for the career fair with this link. You can also contact us if you would like to host a tour or open house. Events are not limited to October 5th, you can make any day MFG Day by opening your door to the public and raising their awareness of the importance and rewards of manufacturing.

Companies taking part in the Career fair at PBHS:

  • Pratt & Whitney, Aerospace Company – Middletown, NY
  • Allendale Machine Systems, Machine Tool Distributor of HAAS equipment – Allendale, NJ
  • Lloydz Motor Workz, Performance Parts to Riders of Victory and Indian Motorcycles, Pine Bush, NY
  • Ametek Rotron, Military & Aerospace Products – Woodstock, NY
  • Fala Technologies, Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, Semiconductor & Green Energy – Kingston, NY
  • Nexans, Advanced Cabling and Connectivity Solutions – Chester, NY
  • LoDolce Machine, Manufacturing Parts and Components for Military, Transportation and Computers – Saugerties, NY
  • Stanfordville Machines, Precision CNC Machining – Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Associate Member and Supporter of Mfg Workforce Initiatives
  • SUNY Orange, Middletown and Newburgh Campus, NY
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) – Albany Region, NY
  • Society for Manufacturing Engineers – SME
  • Mechanical Rubber, Custom Manufacturer, Transportation, Defense, Industrial – Warwick, NY
  • METCAR, Engineering Carbon / Graphite Solutions, Ossining, NY
  • Usheco, Inc, Manufacturing Custom Plastic Parts – Kingston, NY
  • Selux, Innovated Lighting Solutions – Highland, NY
  • Cambridge Security Seals, Manufacturer of High Security Loss Prevention Seals – Pomona, NY
  • SUNY Ulster, Community College offering Credit and Non-Credit Courses – Kingston and Stone Ridge, NY
  • Zierick, Manufacturing Complex Interconnection Requirements for HVAC, Automotive, Industrial, Medical and Security – Mt. Kisco, NY
  • Princeton Upholstery Co, Furniture Manufacturer – Middletown, NY
  • Mokai, Designers, Engineers and Manufacturers of Unique Watercraft – Newburgh

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