workforce

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 Sonja Brown – Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI)

Sonja Brown and Harold King at the 2019 Manufacturing Champions Award Breakfast 

Sonja Brown is the Regional Director at the Workforce Development Institute (WDI) in the lower Hudson Valley: Westchester and Putnam county. She works directly with employers in the area by “listening to their challenges and finding innovative solutions to help the business get through their struggles.” Whether it’s a non-profit, union, business, government or education provider, Sonja does her part to help them all.

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.

Sonja has always had a passion for helping others. Before becoming a Regional Director at WDI she owned her own business, which used State and Federal funds to help students and their families in Westchester get through difficult times. Sonja recognized that there are many barriers to learning that school districts can’t solve on their own. They need additional support to provide students with the education they deserve. She worked with families who were struggling to the pay rent, feed their children or find stable jobs and helped give them the resources, services and support they needed for their children to succeed at school.

Sonja told us that the experience she gained helping these families prepared her for her job today at WDI. “You see the challenge, you find the solution and you form good networks and partnerships to provide the best support for the problem.” Throughout her time at WDI Sonja has worked with several members of the Council of Industry to help solve their workforce challenges. She told us that most manufacturers come to WDI needing assistance with training employees and updating equipment.

After years of use equipment gets worn down or outdated causing companies to lose their competitive edge, and updating old equipment or purchasing new state of the art machines can be a costly endeavor. Sonja has helped a handful of manufacturers get that updated equipment without messing up their budget, and in some cases the company is even able to bring on more employees as a result. “It’s a win for everyone.” Said Sonja. “WDI wins, the employers win, the employees win and even the individuals looking to get hired win.”

WDI also offers training for current employees and for individuals who are looking to enter the industry. As the manufacturing workforce continues to change and the need for skilled employees grows, Sonja has provided manufacturers with the financial help needed to develop their workforce. Mandated certifications can popup at difficult times but WDI is available to help. Sonja also told us that in the case that WDI’s funding is insufficient for the employers needs she does the necessary research to find additional funding mechanisms to cover the remaining cost.

Sonja shared with us that the application process is so simple even she struggled to believe it when she first started. The entire application is under 6 pages long and it’s all about your company, what you need the money for and your projections on how it will impact the business. A Regional Director, like Sonja, works along side you to fill out the application and in under a week you will know if you’ve been approved. “We know that these employers don’t need help tomorrow, they need help today,” said Sonja, which is why WDI has worked hard to simplify the entire process.

Sonja’s hard work and dedication has been a huge help to the Council of Industry and many of its members. Earlier this year the Council of Industry recognized WDI by awarding them with the Supporting Organization Award at the 2019 Manufacturing Champion Awards Breakfast. WDI was selected because of the significant role that Sonja and Mary Jane Bertram, Regional Director of the Upper Hudson Valley, have played in helping our members address their workforce opportunities and challenges.

If you’re interested in speaking with Sonja about how she can help you, you can contact her at sbrown@wdiny.org. If you’re located in Sullivan, Orange, Ulster, Dutchess, Columbia or Rockland county you can reach Mary Jane at mjbertram@wdiny.org for more information. To learn more about Mary Jane you can read her spotlight article here.

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Check Out the New CI Podcast and Meet Manufacturers, Educators and Influencers from around the Hudson Valley

 

In an effort to expand our reach and spread the word about manufacturing in the region, The Council of Industry is launching a podcast. We’ve been working behind the scenes to bring our members and the community an inside look into the people of Hudson Valley manufacturing.

The podcast space has grown expansively in the US with over 40% increase in awareness since 2017. According to Edison Research, 62 million Americans have listened to podcasts in the past week.

Our mission is to support our members and promote their success.  One important way we do that is to help people get to know all about manufacturing in the Hudson Valley; the companies, the products, the technologies, and the people – as well as its economic importance to the region.  As technology evolves, opportunities to communicate that message change. In the 1930s, we introduced the CI newsletter, followed by www.councilofindustry.org in 1991, and the introduction of HV MFG, The Council of Industry’s Magazine, in 2013. Over the last few years, we added a K-12 outreach resource www.gomakeit.org, expanded our YouTube Channel and formed a 501(c)3, (Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center); simultaneously weaving our message with the purpose of increasing awareness and promoting the success of our members.

The staff at CI already get to talk to fascinating, impactful people daily – now we can share those stories. Adding the podcast medium will help us broaden our reach and help us share insights, best practices and hopefully some laughs, with a wider audience.  Perhaps the podcast will help bring the already supportive manufacturing community even closer together.

Here’s a Taste of What’s to Come:

Episode 1Bruce and Aaron Phipps, MPI
Aaron and Bruce share details about what it is like to grow up in a family-owned business and now work together as contemporaries tackling the challenges and celebrating the successes with their MPI family. Aaron is heavily involved at SUNY New Paltz on their advisory board and mentoring interns. They speak about the importance of engagement at that level, training and building the next generation of workforce. Aaron and Bruce are fun to talk to and we’re thankful they agreed to be our tester podcast.

Listen to Episode 1: MPI, At the intersection of manufacturing, innovation and family business 

Episode 2: Aaron Hopmayer, Principal, Pine Bush High School
Aaron Hopmayer, affectionately known as “HOP” is top-notch. We talked with Aaron and Kenny Marshall about their success in integrating STEAM into all disciplines, the booming enrollment in their summer enrichment academies (including their newest summer academy for Advanced Manufacturing). Hop shares his experience overcoming obstacles, building engagement and generally doing whatever it takes because “its good for kids”.  Big shout out to Kenny Marshall, STEAM Coach for helping us work through the podcast flow and his patience for working with Harold and me, amateurs that we are. Kenny is a transformational teacher and coach; he was also one of our 2018 Manufacturing Champions. I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Kenny in our podcast world.

Episode 3: Julian Stauffer, PTI
We truly enjoyed talking with Julian. He talked about his family history and the changes in leadership over the last several decades. He shared some insight about the importance of an adaptable, diverse workplace and what’s ahead for this growing company in Westchester. Julian and his brother Oliver are gracious hosts and the epitome of leadership in advanced manufacturing. We barely scratched the surface in this podcast, I look forward to chatting with Julian, and Oliver again in the near future.

Episode 4: Joe & Jimmy Ferrara and Stephanie Melick, ELNA Magnetics
Not only were we able to chat with Joe, Jimmy and Steph in episode 4, they are also going to be featured in our upcoming edition of HV Mfg. Magazine. We laughed a little too much while preparing for this podcast and then worked out our jitters together. We talked about the culture at Elna, their efforts to tackle workforce development challenges and the future of the business. This was a fun conversation – hopefully, some of the content actually makes it to the ‘podcast’.

Still to come:

Jenny Clark, Global Foundries
Gretchen Zierick, Zierick’s 100-year anniversary
Meaghan Taylor, Regional Director, Empire State Development

This podcast launches in conjunction with other CI activities including our latest video featuring an Electro-Mechanical Technician Apprentice, Forrest (sponsored by Tompkins Mahopac Bank) and the upcoming edition of the HV Mfg Magazine due out in October.

We are always looking for great content; if you are interested in joining us for a podcast episode or know someone who is particularly interesting, please reach out to jhansen@councilofindustry.org.

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Manual Tools to High Tech CNC Machines: The Future of Manufacturing

For decades, the Hudson Valley has been the center of manufacturing innovation from small family owned companies to large corporations. With increasing demand and pressure from global competitors, companies big and small are looking for ways to create high quality products in the most efficient ways possible.

In order to understand how rapid, the technological growth has been, HV MFG sat down with Allendale Machinery Systems to discuss the advancements within the manufacturing sector. The McGill Family is comprised of three generations Tom, Marty, and Neil who helped build the company to the success story it is today. Tom was stationed in Japan after WWII as part of the rebuilding process.

After his service, Tom decided to pursue a degree in International Relations at Georgetown University. However, he quickly realized foreign service was not what he wanted to do. Thanks to a few connections in Japan, Tom was able to get a job selling Japanese manufacturing equipment in the US. Tom explains that during the time, many manufacturing companies were not fond of buying foreign made machines. However, the low price and high quality compared to similar American made machines, won over customers. With his success, Tom decided to start his own company in 1981, which is when Allendale Machinery Systems came to life.

During this time, Tom had met Gene Haas who was building machine tools. Tom had advised Gene on the importance of focusing on quality and features, something he learned while working for the Japanese company. Eventually, Allendale Machinery Systems began selling Haas equipment exclusively. The business began to grow within the family as Marty joined the company in 1987 after realizing college was not for him.

Today, Marty serves as Vice President and is responsible for selling Haas machines to various locations. In addition to that, Marty also informs his customers on the capabilities of the new machining equipment on the market today. This allows his customers to decide if they want to purchase a new machine entirely or upgrade an existing one. Lately, Marty and his team have been working with the Council of Industry to provide more educational resources to machinists and encourage young professionals to join the trade.

Providing workforce training has been a critical goal of both Allendale Machinery and Council of Industry. Neil, the third member of the family-owned business and Director of Operations at the company, explained the successful business growth to HV MFG. Neil began working at Allendale Machinery in 2006, after graduating from college. He started making inside sales and learning his customer base; finding out their needs and challenges. Neil took the information he gathered over time and implemented a business strategy focused at delivering customers requests. Those efforts have paid off as Allendale now employs 45 employees working at their headquarters and satellite offices. Allendale Machinery has developed such a successful reputation, that their client base now exceeds 800 active customers.

Allendale Machinery has proved that a successful business is dependent on delivering and exceeding the expectations of your clients. Additionally, Allendale knows that the future of the industry is dependent on educating the next generation about manufacturing and the knowledge needed to run these high-tech machining tools.

 

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Cambridge Security Seals Get Recognized for an Innovative Design

Cambridge Security Seals is a national leader in specialized seals used for loss prevention and tamper equipment. Located in Pomona New York, this company has built a reputation for product quality and nearly endless options for product customizations; helping match client needs.

Recently, Cambridge Security Seals received a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a state-of-the-art tote seal design. While that may not sound exciting at first, this new design allows clients to secure their products while allowing shoppers a user-friendly experience. Little changes in the ergonomics of security/tamper seals can make all the difference when shoppers are looking at a product to purchase. In today’s competitive market, everything counts including tamper equipment that most people overlook but have had a great deal of engineering research go into them.

HV MFG sat down with Elisha Tropper, CEO of Cambridge Security Seals to discuss how his company became one of the fastest growing organizations in the region. Elisha came from a family of entrepreneurs that ran a local business in New York City during the 1940’s. After attending college at Yeshiva University, Elisha began working in the family run business within different departments including operations, sales, marketing, and product management. While he enjoyed the knowledge, he gained about running a company, Elisha knew he wanted to start his own path. He enrolled in classes at Columbia University and received an MBA.

With his family’s support, Elisha took over Prestige Label Company, which made pressure sensitive labels. From there, he gained the experience of taking a run-down business and building it back up to a competitive business model. Eventually, Prestige was sold to one of its customers who was better suited to run the organization.

That’s when Cambridge Security Seals came into the picture. After purchasing their current facility in 2011, Elisha embarked on a journey to revolutionize a business just as he did with Prestige. Knowing how crucial tamper evident labels are to the commerce sector, Elisha went full steam ahead with his ambitious business plan. His hard efforts paid off as today, Cambridge Security Seals runs 10 fully-automated production lines on an impressive 24/7 schedule.

Now Cambridge Security Seals is looking to install their generation 3 production lines which will help fulfill demand orders at a more efficient rate. Looking into the Future, Elisha is looking to acquire new customers and constantly improve their product line to keep up with the demands of their clients. Cambridge Security Seals is a proven example of how ambitious plans and a determined attitude are key factors to building a successful company.

 

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Meet Stephen Casa – Workplace Learning Coordinator at Ulster BOCES

 

Stephen Casa has been the Workplace Learning Coordinator at Ulster BOCES since early 2018. Ulster BOCES operates as an extension of local school districts that provides shared programs and educational services, serving eight public schools throughout the county. Casa plays an interesting role acting as the lead connector between BOCES programs and the business community. At the moment he’s playing an important part in building relationships for the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy and the Career and Technical Education Center specifically.   

Casa attended Saint John’s University to study Management and Finance, and later got his master’s degree in Instructional Technology from the New York Institute of Technology. After college he started his career in education as a math teacher to middle school students in Brooklyn. His goal at the time was to eventually teach business courses at the high school level. His career took a turn when he decided to take a leap of faith and walk into the high school a week before school was starting to inquire about any openings. He went into the building a middle school math teacher and walked out with a full-time position at James Madison High School in a program called the Academy of Finance.

Casa’s role in the Academy of Finance set his career on the path that it is today. The Academy of Finance is a member of the National Academy Foundation (NAF). It’s a progressive model that combines schoolwork with experiential learning. The academy’s connections with the business community helped students secure paid summer internships and gain real-world experience. Casa told us that this was his first exposure to “education as it should be.”

As the Workplace Learning Coordinator for Ulster BOCES, Casa also works closely with the Council of Industry. The Council of Industry is the lead Industry Partner for the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy, and Casa works directly with many members to help setup workplace learning challenges.  These challenges are immersive projects given to the students at Hudson Valley Pathways Academy by local businesses. Casa also helps coordinate internship opportunities for students through his connections with the business community. “The Council of Industry has been incredibly helpful in identifying businesses that see the benefit of engaging with Ulster BOCES and the students” said Casa.

Casa is passionate about what he does and told us that making connections and watching those connections make a real impact are the best parts of his job. He believes giving students real-world experience as early as possible plays a big role in preparing them for their future. Casa told us that if he could offer some advice to young adults it would be to, “take any opportunity you can get to work with the business community, whether it’s a job shadow or an internship. Those learning experiences are what open your eyes to what’s possible.”   

Hudson Valley Pathways Academy has seen tremendous success since its beginning just a few years ago. The P-TECH school offers a six-year pathway of study, which results in students earning an associate’s degree and puts them first in line for available positions with industry partners. The Career and Technical Education Center also prepares students for the future by offering dozens of high-tech training programs that lead to in-demand jobs. With both programs experiencing such success, we asked Casa what his biggest challenges have been along the way. He told us that getting education providers and business partners to fully recognize the benefits of working together has been a struggle, but when you finally get them at the same table and allow them to see the win-wins it can make significant change.

The future of education is bright, and the programs offered at Ulster BOCES are a shining example of what’s to come. Experiential learning will likely play a much larger role in education in the future. Today many students don’t get real-world experience until after high school or during college. However, we’re already beginning to see the shift with Ulster BOCES. Casa emphasized the importance of teaching young adults how to be adaptable and believes that the work they’re doing at Ulster BOCES is setting these students up with the skills they need to be successful.

If you’d like to learn more about Ulster BOCES or find out how you can be involved visit www.ultserboces.org.  

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Best Practices for Creating a Job Description that Stands Out

 

With low unemployment rates in the United States, employers need to find innovative ways to win over candidates. This starts with job descriptions as they are often the first thing candidates will come across when interacting with your organization. Just how employers look for a candidate who sticks out from others, applicants look for the same when researching companies. Luckily, with some best practices; job descriptions can help you target the perfect candidate.

Don’t Underestimate the Job Title
Job titles are pretty self-explanatory and often times, not much thought is put into them. However, if numerous companies in a given area use the same generic title; it will do little to make your organization stand out. Instead, take a moment to think of a way for your job title to differentiate from others. For example, changing Machinist to CNC Operator I. Small changes like these, will catch the eye of a candidate looking in that field. In addition, key words like CNC Operator will help career platforms such as Indeed to put your posting closer to the top of the open jobs list.

Relate the Job Description to your Company Culture
Job descriptions give a sneak peak to candidates about what they can expect from your company. There should be emphasis placed to make sure there is no disconnect between the company mission statement and what the role entails. For example, if your mission statement highlights taking challenges head-on; consider writing a job description that describes projects employees work on for company/personal growth. Connecting your mission statement with a job posting will tell the candidate that your serious about achieving your goals.

Don’t Overload the Requirements Section
In an effort to deter unqualified candidates from applying, many hiring managers will create a laundry list of qualifications needed for the position. Unfortunately, this can backfire by deterring candidates who have the drive/ambition but lack extensive work experience like college graduates. Instead, try creating a separate list for minimum and preferred qualifications. This will help hiring managers go through an applicant pool that has the necessary skills but also is not too restrictive.

Short and Simple
In the age of smartphones and social media, many candidates are ditching a traditional desktop and instead using their phones to apply for jobs. If you ever viewed a poorly designed webpage on a mobile browser; you’ll notice all the text crammed into a small space making it confusing to read. Avoid the same result by creating short paragraphs and utilizing bullet points to get the message across.

Research the Competition
Having difficulty creating an interesting job description? Google can quickly become your greatest asset; simply search for the same job title and compare other companies job postings with yours. This is a great way to determine if your post stands out from the rest and to learn what benefits/compensation are other organizations offering. Salary and perks like vacation time/health insurance are key things that today’s candidates are looking for.

While creating job descriptions can be tedious, spending the extra time to ensure your posting is unique can help you reduce the amount of time the position is up for and attract qualified candidates. Best practices like these, demonstrate how today’s workforce is evolving and employers need to align their business models to benefit from that.

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What Do Americans Think about Manufacturing—and Its Future?

 

From NAM Input, The National Association of Manufacturers

Do Americans think manufacturing is important? How do they view the technological changes transforming the industry along with the rest of the economy?

Two recent surveys shed light on these important questions. First, a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution asked Americans what they think about manufacturing’s present state. More from the survey summary:

  • “Fifty-eight percent believe manufacturing is very important to the American economy, 14 percent think it is somewhat important, 6 percent feel it is not very important, and 22 percent are unsure.”

However, opinion varied markedly by age group, with younger people seeing manufacturing as less important:

  • “Seventy-one percent of people over the age of 55 believe manufacturing is very important, whereas only 45 percent of those aged 18 to 34 years feel that way. That is a 26 percentage point difference in feelings about the subject between these age groups.”

Now, what about manufacturing’s future? Another survey, by Gallup and Northwestern University, asked Americans, Canadians and Brits whether they thought their countries were prepared for technological change in the “AI age.” From Bloomberg’s writeup:

  • “Just 1 in 4 Americans are confident that the higher education system is doing enough to address the need for career-long learning and retraining.”
  • “Tuition costs are the biggest deterrent, followed by academic programs that aren’t keeping up with an evolving workplace environment, according to the survey.”

These findings underline the importance of The Manufacturing Institute’s mission and the new Creators Wanted Fund that will support significant programming in 2020 to improve industry perceptions as well as expand the Institute’s efforts.

First, too many young people have the wrong image of manufacturing. Many still envision the same sort of factories their grandfathers worked in, instead of the high-tech, stimulating environment it is today. Brookings’ results suggest that manufacturers must do better at showing young people how manufacturing is leading the 21st-century economy—a key mission of the Institute.

Meanwhile, Americans are right to worry that our educational system isn’t prepared for technological change, which will create opportunities as much as disruptions. That’s why the Institute is fundraising for its new $10 million Creators Wanted Fund, which will enable it to increase participation in apprenticeships and other educational programs by 25 percent through 2025. Learn more about the fund and related programming by contacting NAM Vice President of Brand Strategy Chrys Kefalas.

 

The Council of Industry has its own solution, the NYS Registered Apprentice Program is available to individuals with tactical skills and math aptitude. This apprenticeship 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. Applicants must be 18 years or older, eligible to work in the United States and possess a superior work ethic. To be a registered apprentice, an individual must be employed by a participating employer. The apprentice is required to complete a minimum of 18 months up to 4 years of on-the-job training (depending on the position) and 144 hours or required related instruction per year. For more information visit our website or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or call (845) 565 – 1355.

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Building a More Inclusive Workspace

In today’s competitive job market, companies are looking for ways to diversify their employee portfolios and bring in the best talents. Unfortunately, there are many individuals who have not been given the opportunity to utilize their unique skills. One non-profit organization in Michigan is looking to change that. Autism Alliance of Michigan strives to help individuals who are on the autism spectrum find quality jobs that allow them to use the skills they’ve gained through college.

In 2016, Autism Alliance of Michigan teamed up with Ford Motor Co. to employ over a dozen individuals in different fields including communications, engineering, and financing. Other employers across the country including General Motors and DTE Energy Co. have hired dozens of employees with autism. The CEO of Autism Alliance of Michigan emphasized that “there’s this untapped talent pool that we should be looking at to fill these jobs.”

Autism is a developmental disorder that can cause communication and behavioral challenges. This can lead to difficulty finding a job even with a college degree. The government does not specifically track unemployment rates within the autism spectrum community. However, according to The Detroit News, studies have shown it can be as high as 90%. Individuals who do get a job, often get put into positions that are not in their field of study.

The Detroit News, interviewed Kevin Roach who graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in electronic arts. This type of major focuses on using digital media software like Adobe Photoshop. However, after graduation Kevin was doing manual labor and felt that his talents were not being utilized. Fast forward two years, and Kevin is now working for Ford Motor Credit Co. LLC asa Junior Technical Renewal Analyst. The Autism Alliance of Michigan as well as other organizations provide support for companies that choose to partner with them. This way, if an employee needs support adjusting to a new work environment or new supervisor; they can be put in contact with a support member. This helps employees feel comfortable and accommodated while also allowing them to use their talents.

As a new generation emerges into the workforce, organizations are giving students with Autism a head start at finding a career they have a passion for. Project Search for example, is an initiative that has connected Detroit public schools’ students with disabilities to a broad range of jobs. This way, students are able to get support even before college. Initiatives like these, prove that there is value and importance to build a diverse employee base. There is a lot of potential that could mutually help companies with their workforce needs and individuals looking for a fulfilling job. Companies can help remove boundaries and contribute to their community by partnering up with university disability resource centers. These efforts can help build a more inclusive workforce.

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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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King’s Hawaiian: Three Woman Challenging Gender Stereotypes in Manufacturing

 

The manufacturing industry has long been dominated by males, however as work demographics begin to change; woman have been increasingly taking on various roles. In the New York town of Oakwood, one company is at the forefront of promoting equality on the production floor. If the name King’s Hawaiian sounds familiar, that’s because they are responsible for making the delicious sweet rolls found in bakery departments of supermarkets across the country.

The Gainesville Times recently interviewed a few women who work at the plant, one of them being Charlotte Caldwell. Caldwell became the first female production supervisor at this location which helps supply the rolls in the surrounding areas. She mentioned how she starts off her work day by walking down the production line and checking-in with employees. Her experience in operations and passion for food made her the perfect person for this role. Caldwell is looking to challenge the gender stereotypes that are associated with manufacturing. She mentioned to the Gainesville Times, “We have to understand that gender stereotypes can cloud what we think and how we react to people, but that’s not how it should be.”

Caldwell began her career at King’s Hawaiian as a catering helper. After talking with the HR manager about her interests in the company; she became a production floor-woman. Soon after, she was promoted to the supervisor position. Her role consists of ensuring the needs of her employees are being met and meeting with the operations teams. Logistics is everything as the factory is able to produce nearly 70,000 rolls an hour.

In a different part of the factory, Samantha Steele oversees the overall safety and well-being of workers. She began her career at the company as a industrial athletic trainer, and then became a safety manager. Steele focuses on ways for employees on the production floor to reduce aches and pains associated with standing/moving for long periods of time. She wants to make sure employees go home as healthy and happy as they came to work. While Steele acknowledges this is a unique way to get into the manufacturing sector, she loves her job and being able to contribute to employee’s health.

On the production floor, Sandra Imperial reflects on her manufacturing career path. Growing up, she felt pressured to go into roles such as nursing or teaching. However, it wasn’t until her 20’s that Imperial realized her passion was in manufacturing. She started work at King’s Hawaiian as an entry-level packer and then transitioned into a dough divider operator. After gaining an apprenticeship, the company paid for her to go back to school and get on-the-job training. Today, Imperial is an industrial manufacturing technician with over five years of experience.

These three women represent a small fraction of the factory’s employees. However, their impact in the workplace has encouraged people from all over to pursue a career because of their abilities and passions not because of biased stereotypes that limit people’s growth. While gender inequality in the workplace is still being challenged, success stories like these continue to prove the benefits of ensuring everyone gets an equal chance at work.

The Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center recently received a grant from the Rowley Family Fund for Women and Children to help encourage women and girls throughout the Hudson Valley to pursue a career in manufacturing. To keep manufacturing alive and thriving throughout the region we must inspire and motivate women to enter the field. The Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center will use the grant money to create videos targeting the young women of the tri-county region in classroom presentations and on social media. These videos will spotlight women in manufacturing at all levels from apprentices to engineers and showcase the many opportunities for success available throughout the region. 

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

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 are impacting their companies. 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.

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Metallized Carbon: Innovation at the Core of its Growth

This week, we turn our attention to Metallized Carbon, a state-of-the-art manufacturing company located in Ossining, New York. If you were to enter the factory floor, you likely wouldn’t know what their products are used for. Metcar is the trade name used for special materials that are self-lubricating which are used in the aerospace industry. Many of these parts are used in machinery where temperatures are too high for conventional oil-based lubricants. HV MFG spoke with Metallized Carbon a few years back to learn more about their production methods. Their products differ from the competition as they use graphite which has self-lubricating properties. In addition, their products are combined with other solid lubricants that are chemically bonded together using a carbon binder. Today, Metallized Carbon has over 150 different Metcar Grades that can be used on a wide variety of applications depending on the customer’s needs.

Metallized Carbon was founded in 1945 when Preston Siebert began working from his detached garage specializing in metal impregnation services. He originally worked to develop a way for graphite to combine with molten metal. The electronics sector was very interested in this as carbon graphite proved to be a better conductor than just graphite alone. By the 1950’s, Metallized Carbon began manufacturing carbon bearings used in the board drying industry. In the 1970’s, Metcar became a registered trademark for the company and developed new base materials that have unique uses in the commercial aerospace industry and in military equipment. Such innovation, required the company to grow significantly. Today, the company has transformed itself from 2 car garage to six buildings covering 85,000 sq. feet and employing 125 people. By the 2000’s with the growth of the aerospace industry, Metcar expanded to different divisions for Mexico and Asia while also increasing US production. President & CEO of Metallized Carbon, Matthew Brennan mentioned that his company is both high-tech and cutting edge in order to meet the needs of their clients.

Thanks to efforts from the Council of Industry and other local Hudson Valley businesses, Metallized Carbon was able to secure funding for a new facility that now holds the aerospace materials division. Located in Mountaindale, the new facility is 15,000 sq. feet with the ability to expand to 65,000 sq. feet in the future. Looking ahead, Brennan intends to hire new employees to continue the innovation the company is known for. Thankfully, New York colleges in the Hudson Valley have provided Metallized Carbon with engineers ready to take on the next challenge. Additionally, Brennan and his team are fortunate for the dedicated employees that help keep the production floor running smoothly. While the future does not hold guarantees, Metallized Carbon is continuing to expand with an emphasis on innovation and quality products.

 

 

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2019 NYS Legislative Session Wrap Up

By Tiffany Latino-Gerlock, Director of Government Relations and Communications at MACNY, The Manufacturers Association & MANY (The Manufacturers Alliance of New York State) 

The 2019 Legislative Session wrapped up in Albany at the end of June with a flurry of activity and hundreds of bills passing before lawmakers adjourned for the summer and headed home to their district offices.

Below is an overview report from The Manufacturers Alliance of New York of some of the new measures that state legislators passed this session that may have an impact on your company and its operations. If you have any questions about these bills, or the overall 2019 Legislative Session, please contact Tiffany Latino-Gerlock, Director of Government Relations and Communications at MACNY, The Manufacturers Association & MANY (The Manufacturers Alliance of New York State) at 315-474-4201 ext. 13 or at tiffanylatinog@macny.org.

New Measures:

Permanent Property Tax Cap – a tax cap that places a limit on the growth of school property taxes at two percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. MANY has long supported and advocated for a permanent property tax cap.

Expansion of the MWBE Program – legislation that reauthorizes the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program and extends the provisions of law relating to the participation of MWBEs in state contracts for the program to continue. The legislation increases the “Personal Net Worth” cap from $3.5 million to $15 million.

Pay Equity in the Workplace – package of bills that expands the definition of “equal pay for equal work” to prohibit unequal pay based on a protected class for all substantially similar work. It also includes a salary history ban prohibiting employers from asking applicants about their salary history when determining the wages of a prospective employee.

Women on Corporate Boards Study – legislation that requires the department of state, in collaboration with the department of taxation and finance, to conduct a study on the number of women directors who serve on each board of directors of domestic and foreign corporations authorized to do business in NYS.

Small Business Tax Credit – legislation to establish a small business tax credit for a company that employs a disabled person for the duration of six months and who works a minimum of thirty-five hours per week. The amount of credit per hired person shall range between five thousand to twenty-five thousand dollars.

Workforce Development Funding – $750,000 secured in the 2019-20 State Budget for the Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) to continue. MANY and Alliance Partners worked hard from the start of budget negotiations to ensure that this funding was included in the final budget.

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act – legislation that enacts the CLCPA requiring reductions in statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 60% of 1990 levels by 2030 and 15% of 1990 levels by 2050. It also creates the Climate Action Council that will be comprised of various stakeholders, including Energy-Intensive Trade Exposed Industries (EITEs), to help develop a plan on how the state will achieve an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. From the beginning of this legislative session, MANY and many of our members strongly advocated for changes to the original proposal to help protect manufacturers and for EITES to have a seat at the table during the scoping plan process. Furthermore, EITEs will be a part of the working transition group that will advise the council on issues for workforce development, training, and energy-efficient measures.

Next Year’s Priorities:

Support – Though we didn’t see the full passage of a bill that MANY has long championed for, which would provide a zero percent tax rate for all manufacturers, we are pleased to report that it advanced in the State Senate, unanimously passing the Budget and Revenue Committee.

Support – Continued and increased funding for the Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) to help grow a larger network of registered apprenticeships at companies throughout the Hudson Valley and statewide.

Oppose – Also not approved this session was a bill that would mandate a prevailing wage on almost all construction projects in NYS that receive any state, regional, or local financial support. Earlier in the year, MANY joined a coalition of business, building, affordable housing, construction, health care, and economic development groups to oppose the bill and voice concern with its potential to halt future economic growth. We will continue to track any movement on this proposal.

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Creativity and Ambition: One Person’s Path Towards a Rewarding Career

Over one million people call the Hudson Valley home, with many working in various manufacturing industries. Sono-Tek Corporation is a state-of-the-art manufacturing center in Milton, NY that specializes in ultrasonic spray-coating. Within this company, a man named Adam Carlock has made a career for himself. Adam spoke with HV MFG last year and discussed his passion for manufacturing.

Adam grew up on Long Island and went to college to study accounting. However, after his first year, Adam realized accounting was not for him. His passion lies with cooking which he used to pursue a career as a chef for ten years. While he liked his job, the career proved challenging when also trying to raise a family. At this point, Adam knew a more traditional 9 to 5 job would be a better option. After moving to the Hudson Valley, Adam decided to take general engineering courses at SUNY Dutchess where he got his associates degree. Afterwards, he transferred to SUNY New Paltz to earn his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. While taking classes at New Paltz, Adam took an internship through the Hudson Valley Technology Development Center which opened his eyes to the different sectors he could go into with his engineering degree. Additionally, one of Adam’s professors told him about an opening at Sono-Tek Corporation where he could work 12 hours a week while attending classes.

After jumping on the opportunity, Adam eventually received a full-time offer after graduation. One of the requirements for graduation, included a senior design project which Adam decided to create a 3D printer that could print out bowls made of chocolate. Interestingly, this brought him to the Culinary Institute of America where he met with chocolate experts who advised him on how to build a climate-controlled module for the printer to function properly. This allowed Adam to use his passion and knowledge of culinary arts into his engineering studies.

Currently, Adam is a Junior Engineer at Sono-Tek where he is able to further build on his manufacturing skills. He explains being able to work on internal projects and speed up efficiency is one of the best parts of his job. Adam’s commitment has been beneficial to Sono-Tek as they have reorganized their production equipment to make sure products are being produced at an efficient rate while maintaining quality. In addition, Sono-Tek has also invested in software to help track production and product parts to simplify logistics.

Adam is an example of how creativity and determination can lead to a rewarding career where you can directly apply the skill-sets learned in a college education. Adam also has advice for anyone looking to pursue a career in manufacturing, “Find what interests you. There are so many fields to choose from, find something you have a passion for.”

Want to pursue a career like Adam did? Click here to see a list of open positions available through the Council of Industry. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow our Instagram page @councilofindustry.

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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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Hard Work, Determination, and Resilience: The Path Towards Success for FALA Technologies

Companies big and small continue to fuel innovation and quality jobs within the Hudson Valley, helping the manufacturing sector grow. This week, we turn our focus to FALA Technologies headquartered in Kingston, NY. The company has been in business for over 70 years and built a reputation for creating production equipment for important clients including IBM. In 2015, HV MFG sat down with Frank Falatyn, the company president to discuss its workforce development.

Mr. Falatyn began his career at the age of 16 when he was recognized for his manufacturing talents in part thanks to his father’s working experience. Both his father and grandfather asked Mr. Falatyn to help start a family business named Ulster Tool and Die. The three of them invested their time and money into building a company from the ground up. Mr. Falatyn expressed that he did not think he would be in the family business for long. After witnessing his father get an engineering degree, Mr. Falatyn understood the importance of education in the manufacturing field.

After graduating from Kingston High School, he reflected on his talents within the sciences, specifically chemistry. Consequently, Mr. Falatyn earned a degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University and finished first in his class. His professors were so impressed with his work, that they wanted him to become a research assistant. However, Mr. Falatyn had other intensions and wanted to go back into the manufacturing sector. After graduating from college, he began working at GE to make plastics in Indiana. Mr. Falatyn quickly realized how much he missed the Hudson Valley and eventually moved back to New York to continue in the family business.

When Ulster Tool and Die was founded, the company specialized in making production equipment specifically for IBM’s R&D team. IBM eventually became the most prominent customer for the company. However, after IBM downsized in the early 90’s, Ulster Tool and Die needed to reinvent itself in order to gain new traction. As a result, the company changed its name to FALA Technologies. They also bought an empty warehouse in Kingston that was four times the size of their old shop. While the company continued to grow, Mr. Falatyn encountered the loss of both his father and brother. The latter of which was on the Council of Industry’s Board. While the loss was deeply personal, Mr. Falatyn knew he needed to continue the legacy his brother and father helped build. He reached out to the Council of Industry where he took a spot on the board so he could continue to stay in the loop of the manufacturing sector. When asked, what it takes to be a good leader? Mr. Falatyn mentioned the importance of recognizing one’s strengths and filling roles that best utilize them while delegating other important tasks that play into weaknesses.

Looking ahead into the future, Mr. Falatyn highlighted the need to focus on the next generation workforce. This way, new employees can master the skills more seasoned workers have gained throughout the years. In order to stay competitive and continue to innovate, FALA Technologies as well as the entire US manufacturing sector need to invest in workforce development to ensure the skills used by older generations are not lost. As the manufacturing industry takes these challenges head on, FALA Technologies proves that hard work, determination, and resilience go a long way to paving a successful business.

 

 

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Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center Receives Grant from Rowley Family Foundation

Johnnieanne Hansen with the Rowley Family accepting a grant from the Rowley Family Foundation to help HVMWC encourage women and girls to pursue careers in manufacturing.

 

The Rowley Family Foundation’s new Fund for Women and Children awarded grants to 15 organizations in Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties including The Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center, Inc. The awards, totaling $516,791, all had a common goal of supporting innovative programs geared towards empowering women and children.

The Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center, Inc. received $16,000 to create videos targeting the young women of the tri-county region, that can be used on GoMakeIt.org., in classroom presentations and on social media. These videos will spotlight women in manufacturing at all levels from apprentices to engineers and showcase the many opportunities for success available throughout the region. They will encourage young women to visualize themselves in rewarding careers allowing them to earn a living wage, raise their families and thrive in the Hudson Valley. Videos and programs like www.gomakeit.org help connect women with local jobs, encourage them to enroll in apprenticeships and assist them in taking the first step towards a fulfilling career.

“This grant will go a long way in helping increase the visibility of the career opportunities available in manufacturing right now and hopefully encourage more women to consider this as an option. From middle school girls learning to code or design on computers, to women re-entering the workforce and those interested in a STEM career, manufacturing is an excellent path to pursue,” explains Johnnieanne Hansen, Executive Director, Hudson Valley Manufacturing Workforce Center, Inc.

The newly created Fund for Women and Children is a unique philanthropic effort designed to identify and address pressing issues impacting some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Through targeted and specific funding, the goal of this initiative is for nonprofits in the region to elevate their programming to empower the women and children of Orange, Sullivan and Ulster Counties. Grants were awarded in sums ranging from $15,000 to $50,000. The other recipients: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, $23,268, Children’s Rights Society, Inc., $46,364, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, $15,000, Newburgh Free Library, $25,000; Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, $50,000; Regional Economic Community Action Program, $40,610; Sullivan County Community College, $35,000; Sullivan 180, Inc., $17,000; Center for Creative Education, $50,000; Ellenville Regional Hospital, $49,063; Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc., $30,000; St. Luke’s Cornwall Health System Foundation, Inc., $50,000; Catholic Charities of Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster, $44,236; and Braeside Camp, $25,250.

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Schatz Bearing Corporation: Small Parts, High Stakes

When people think of industrial manufacturing, often times gigantic heavy-duty equipment comes to mind. The truth is, many companies are tasked with building small parts designed to be used in everything from commercial equipment to classified defense projects. Within the city of Poughkeepsie, lies the headquarters of Schatz Bearing Corporation. This company has been around in the Hudson Valley since 1910 and has evolved greatly to meet the needs of the 21st century manufacturing sector. Schatz Bearing Corporation was primarily focused on the automotive industry, providing them with ball bearings designed for cars.

Today, the company caters to aerospace and defense companies which require highly precise parts made from quality metals. Company President, Stephen Pomeroy had mentioned to HV MFG that innovation, customer service, and teamwork have played crucial parts in paving the pathway towards success. However, Schatz Bearing Corporation went through a complete overhaul to get to where it is today. During the 70’s, the company had to deal with turbulent years of layoffs and labor strikes. In addition to that, the decline in the American automotive industry caused work to be sent overseas to reduce operating costs eventually resulting in Schatz (then known as Schatz-Federal) to file for bankruptcy. In 1981, the company closed its doors until the name and equipment were purchased from a liquidator. The company name was changed to Schatz Bearing Corporation and was eventually bought by the Pomeroy family in 1985.

Stephen Pomeroy began working for the company in 1989 and switched focus towards quality instead of quantity. Schatz knew it could not complete with the low-cost competitors in other countries like China. So, the company focused on producing ball bearings that require a sophisticated level of engineering. Aerospace companies like Boeing and Airbus need parts that can withstand the demands of commercial aircraft while ensuring they will not fail. In order to make sure the products meet the standards of their customers; Schatz produces ball bearings in smaller volumes to guarantee quality will not be sacrificed in addition to streamlining the production line to cut down on time needed to fill orders. Plant Manager, Bob Lanser explained that machine setup’s that could take up to 8 hours have been reduced to just 30 minutes. Utilizing this model, has developed trust between Schatz Bearing Corporation and its customers who know the company is up to the challenge.

In order to produce quality products, Schatz Bearing Corporation seeks out qualified employees to work at their plant. Competitive wages and an in-depth training program give Schatz an advantage that candidates are attracted to. The company also focuses on developing a positive work culture to reduce turnover which can cause instability. Schatz Bearing Corporation is a great example of how focusing on quality products, listening to customers needs, and focusing on a positive work culture lead to company growth and help overcome obstacles.

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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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Workforce Diversity: New Ideas Within the Manufacturing Industry

 

When we think of diversity, many of us tend to think about physical characteristics. However, workplace diversity entails much more than that and for good reason. In a working environment, each employee brings their own unique personality and work ethics to an organization. An article published in HV MFG’s Fall 2016 issue, highlights the benefits to hiring a diverse workforce. First, bringing different mindsets into a company can help challenge the status quo and use critical thinking to create new ideas. This is becoming increasingly important within the sector of manufacturing as competition continues to grow both domestically and internationally.

In order for a diverse workforce to be truly advantageous to a company, certain steps first need to be met. For example, the organization must be committed to hearing new ideas and accepting criticism when necessary. Having a “it’s always been like this” attitude not only silences the voices of others, but it can lead to stagnation in company growth. In addition, the company culture needs to be open to change, otherwise new employees may start to conform for fear of not being accepted.

To ensure those steps are met, first management endorsement is key for current employees to embrace change rather than fear it. If the management level of an organization is not thrilled about new ideas, no one will be. Interestingly, research has shown that holding numerous diversity training workshops might not be as effective as people think. Often times, individuals will forget most of the information given during the training sessions and it might spark backlash. Instead, focusing on eliminating bias opportunities has a more positive impact. For example, having supervisors objectively evaluate each employee to see who deserves a promotion rather than going with a gut instinct or a supervisor’s personal feelings.

Another important step is to avoid blaming individuals and lecturing employees, this will only cause problems to worsen. Rather, supervisors should rotate employees around to different departments. This not only allows the employee to meet new people, but also helps train them in various skills that could be used in the future. Finally, a workplace should embrace conflict and instead re-frame it as an opportunity to learn. Change can be daunting at times; however, it is necessary in our fast-paced and globalized world. A diverse workforce exposes people to new ideas and fosters growth; all important attributes in the modern-day manufacturing industry.

 The full article on Workplace Diversity on HV MFG’s Magazine can be found here. 

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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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Find Out About IMAGE – ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers

For many companies around the country, building a successful business starts with hiring a capable workforce.

It can be a tedious process. One that begins with the recruitment of qualified candidates and continues with the subsequent steps of taking those potential employees through the hiring process, all while ensuring that all documentation is in compliance with the law.

As part of the hiring process, companies must conduct regular self-assessments to uncover flaws that could be exploited by unauthorized workers who create vulnerabilities in today’s marketplace by presenting false documents to gain employment, completing applications for fraudulent benefits and stealing identities of legal United States workers.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) conducts outreach through the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers, or IMAGE program, to instill a culture of compliance and accountability.

Read more https://www.ice.gov/features/image

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