Tag: Skills Gap

Council of Industry Roundtable with President Williams of New York Federal Reserve Bank

Post: Jul. 16, 2019



On Wednesday, July 10, members of the Council of Industry met with John Williams, the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank for a roundtable discussion of issues affecting Hudson Valley Manufacturers. The event was arranged by the Council of Industry and held at MPI, Inc. It was an opportunity for manufacturing leaders to provide insight on issues such as the skills gap, tariffs, trade, and the overall economy. They also shared steps they have taken along with Council of Industry programs to address these issues.

This event was part of the New York Fed’s tour of the Hudson Valley and Albany in an ongoing effort to assess economic conditions in the Federal Reserve. Williams is one of the key policymakers on the Federal Open Markets Committee that meet eight times a year and attempt to influence the U.S. economy. They review economic and financial conditions, determine the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and assess the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth. Williams is a career economist with a doctorate in economics and was previously president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Williams began the discussion by asking for an open dialogue about each company’s present obstacles and opportunities so he could get a better understanding and perspective of what New York manufacturers, Hudson Valley ones specifically, are facing.  The current labor shortage was a clear issue that was addressed throughout the discussion. The aging workforce the absence of vocational and technical training makes it a struggle to find experienced workers.

Williams asked what was being done to address these issues and several members volunteered examples of how they are working with the Council of Industry to help find solutions through a wide variety of initiatives including the apprentice program, the Collaborative Recruiting Program, working with local schools and colleges, and using training programs provided by grants in association with the Council of Industry and the Community Colleges.

One member shared his experience with the Council of Industry’s apprentice program and how it is helping him maintain and further develop the talent he currently has within his company. He believes that investing in his employees will encourage them to stay and grow with the company after the completion of the program.  Another member described the relationship his company has cultivated with local P-Tech schools and colleges to find young people with an interest in engineering and manufacturing. There was discussion of technical and supervisory training offered by the Council that members have utilized and how it has been affordable for many of our members because of grant funding provided by the state.

Other topics that were discussed included international trade, the new tariffs, and rare earth materials. There were varying opinions on tariffs and trade. While some members spoke positively about the new tariffs and the hope that it would result in more production within the United States and cut down on intellectual property theft. Others had a slightly different point of view and noted that certain industries rely heavily on the global supply chain, which has been negatively impacted by tariffs. Immigration, especially the H1B Visa program was also discussed.

President Williams thanked the group for their input. The roundtable provided insight on the local economy, business expansion, and workforce development programs in addition to the needs and challenges of advanced manufacturers in the Hudson Valley. While the Federal Reserve Bank cannot address all the challenges discussed, they can leverage their convening power, build connections within the District and utilize their research capabilities to provide support wherever possible.

Council of Industry members that took part in the event included: Bruce Phipps, President, MPI Inc.; Aaron Phipps, VP of Sales & Marketing, MPI, Inc.; Fabio Alvarez, CFO, MPI, Inc.; Elisha Tropper, Principal and CEO, Cambridge Security Seals, Tim Cunningham, VP Manufacturing, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Julian Stauffer, Chief Operating Officer, PTI – Packaging Technologies & Inspection, Steve Pomeroy, Owner/President, Schatz Bearing Corp., Justin Lukach, President, Micromold Products, Inc., Cedric Glasper, President & CEO, Mechanical Rubber, Neal Johnsen, President, Stanfordville Machines, Steven Efron, CEO, Efco Products, John Yelle, Operations Manager, Pratt & Whitney, Devon Luty, President, Dorsey Metrology, and Diana Tomassetti, President, Pietryka Plastics.

Pictured above: Fabio Alvarez, CFO, MPI Inc.; John Williams, President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development and Apprentice Coordinator, Council of Industry; Bruce Phipps, President, MPI Inc.; Aaron Phipps, VP of Sales & Marketing, MPI, Inc.

Future Manufacturers in the Making

Post: Jun. 13, 2019


It seems our efforts to share manufacturing career opportunities are beginning to bear fruit. From articles in HV Mfg magazine to the GoMakeIt.org website and its videos highlighting people working in manufacturing to our support of the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy and more educators from across the region are increasingly turning to us to help them connect with the manufacturing sector and the great careers we have.

At schools throughout the Hudson Valley students are increasingly being exposed to the amazing career choices available to them through the manufacturing sector. Council of Industry member companies have been at career fairs and featured prominently in the end of year presentations made at the PTech Program.

Ulster BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways Academy students presented their final projects of the year to an audience of educators, industry leaders, and family members on May 29 at the Ulster BOCES Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning at Anna Devine. The young scholars demonstrated the work they did this past year which included several projects with Council of Industry member companies. The students also reviewed their positive growth and chose a word that described what their hopes were for the year. Positivity, self-confidence, and persistence were popular themes among many of the students. Congratulations to all on a very successful year!

On June 4, the Cornwall Central Middle School hosted a great career exploration event. The students were engaged with a diverse field of employers. The Council of Industry was well represented by members Ametek Rotron and Global Foundries, both of which demonstrated a variety of career paths available in manufacturing.

At the end of May, Valley Central High School hosted a job fair that included Council member Mechanical Rubber Products. This was a schoolwide event that included not only potential career opportunities but summer job offerings too.

There is ever increasing interest in the career paths available in the industrial sector nationwide. The Council of Industry has made it a priority to connect manufacturers with the local schools in an effort to promote the fantastic job opportunities available in manufacturing and various ways to navigate the journey. There is something there for every type of student. If your company would like to be a part of future events contact us.

For more information for students on careers in manufacturing click here

Some videos about manufacturing careers from around the Hudson Valley:

This is Manufacturing

GMI Tool and Die Maker

Meet Mike – Engineering Tech at eMagin

Go Make It YouTube Channel

MFG Day Inspires Americans to Imagine Themselves as Manufacturing Workers

Post: Dec. 4, 2018


Our blogs often discuss the ongoing manufacturing skills gaps and the need for quality and capable workers throughout the manufacturing industry. Manufactures face these struggles daily and although “90 percent of manufacturers are expressing optimism about the future nearly as many, about 75 percent, are expressing deep concerns about their ability to attract and retain a quality workforce moving forward.”

Luckily this is an issue that NAM and the overall industry is working together to overcome. One of the ways their doing this is through the organization of Manufacturing Day across the county. Kicking off at the beginning of October each year, Manufacturing Day is a great way to inspire young Americans to imagine themselves working in the manufacturing industry. MFG Day is when thousands of manufacturers and schools come together and open their doors to students, teachers, and family members.

This is the kind of opportunity that many manufacturers have been looking for to change the old perceptions about manufacturing and show the public what modern manufacturing really looks like. People who are attending these MFG Day events are learning that manufacturing careers are often high-skill and typically pay better than jobs in other industries. Teaching students that there are other options outside of college that can lead to a fulfilling career is important, and these events are helping spread that message.

The Council of Industry helped to coordinate several Manufacturing Day events throughout the Hudson Valley in early October with the help of our members. On October 5th the Council of Industry, in partnership with Pine Bush High School, hosted the Manufacturing Career Exploration Night. The event was filled with engaging demonstrations, displays and conversations. Over 200 people attended Manufacturing Career Exploration Night at Pine Bush High School including students, facility, parents and community members.

Many of our members got involved in the event including Schatz Bearing Corporation, MPI, Cambridge Security Seals, EFCO and FALA Technologies to name a few. Each company engaging the young students of Pine Bush High School and teaching them what a career in manufacturing could look like right here in the Hudson Valley. Our members at Sono-Tek, Ametek Rotron and Meyer Tool also hosted events of their own, inviting Hudson Valley students to tour their facilities and get an up close and personal view of manufacturing.

The Council of Industry plans to continue their involvement in MFG Day each year and continuously increase member involvement. If you’re interested in getting involved in next years events you can contact us at jhansen@councilofindustry.org. Together we can show the community how the Hudson Valley does manufacturing!

For more information about Manufacturing Day read the full article here.

The Many Advantages of Apprenticeship Programs

Post: Nov. 28, 2018


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.

Bring Back Vocational Training

Post: Aug. 10, 2018

We’re all aware of the unfortunate manufacturing skills gap, which has developed in part as a result of the “college-for-everyone” mentality. The search for qualified and experienced employees has been a struggle in recent years as the workforce nears retirement age and fewer young adults are pursing vocational career paths. A major contributing factor to this issue has been the elimination of vocational training in high schools.

The United States education system has been slowly removing vocational training from high schools since the 1960s. High school curriculum is now much more focused on preparing students for college. However, even with this push for students to receive a higher education, the statistics aren’t promising. About 68% of high school students attend college in the United States, but nearly 40% of those students who go to a four-year school don’t complete the program.

Bringing back vocational training would help expose these students to other options outside of college. We’re doing a disservice to these young adults by not educating them on alternative career paths. Bringing back vocational training would be beneficial to high school students and the entire manufacturing industry at large. 

However, many high schools have begun recognizing this need and searching for ways to diversify the curriculum. Pine Bush High School, right here in Upstate New York, has been actively preparing students for careers in various fields. Principal Aaron Hopmayer has initiated several programs that teach students vocational skills. Most recently he’s leading an effort to develop a PRIME program (Partner Response in Manufacturing Education) at the high school. 

If you’d like to read more about the need to bring back vocational training in schools, you can find the full article here.