Sometimes consumers may not realize how important manufacturing is and may take the process for granted, and that enough products will be on the shelves for consumers to buy.
If manufacturing stops or is delayed, consumers may have a hard time finding products in need.
October is Manufacturing Month, and Friday at the Manufacturing Institute at Jamestown Community College, 512 Falconer St., manufacturing representatives, JCC student representatives, PTECH student representatives, elected officials and JCC leadership celebrated manufacturing.
“Look around you. Everything you see was manufactured somewhere. Without manufacturing, you don’t have a nation. You don’t have an economy. You don’t have a standard of living. It’s a foundation of a modern civilization. And you’re coming in on the ground floor,” state Assemblyman Andy Goodell R-Jamestown, told JCC students.
Jennifer Burlee, Cummins Inc. facilities and central services leader at the Jamestown plant, said manufacturing is not what it used to be, and noted there are assumptions that manufacturing jobs are dirty and dingy.
“It’s not that anymore,” Burlee said about the assumptions.
“There’s a lot of opportunity for technical skills,” Burlee added.
According to Todd Tranum, Manufacturing Association of the Southern Tier director, Manufacturing Month is designed to highlight the importance of manufacturing in the Southern Tier of Western New York. Manufacturing Day is the kickoff for a month of activity focused on manufacturing careers and is held annually on the first Friday in October.
“MFG Day–Manufacturing Day–helps show the reality of modern manufacturing careers by encouraging thousands of companies and educational institutions around the nation to open their doors to students, parents, teachers and community leaders. As manufacturers seek to fill 4 million high-skill, high-tech and high-paying jobs over the next decade, MFG Day empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive,” Tranum said.
MAST President Dale Gier said that he core part of work through MAST is sending a positive message about today’s advanced manufacturing and the career opportunities companies provide.
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said during the pandemic, some manufacturers shifted their operations to change what they do. He said an example is Dawson Metal. The company started manufacturing oyster farming boxes so oysters can be artificially farmed.
“They started making oyster boxes — of all things — right here in Jamestown, in Chautauqua County,” Sundquist noted.
Tranum explained that manufacturing month will have a strong emphasis on manufacturing technology tours with students, collaboration with existing after school programming and student clubs, in school presentations, programming in coordination with Jamestown Community College, PTECH and a variety of Dream It Do It coordinated events.
“The future of manufacturing is dependent on each of you, our current and future workforce who solve problems and innovate every minute of every day; leaders of our manufacturing facilities who navigate through the challenges and seize the opportunities in today’s competitive advanced manufacturing environment; education and training providers with whom we rely upon to help us build a skilled workforce; elected officials with whom we collaborate to develop policies that business and the retention and advancement of manufacturing; and a variety of community based and governmental partners that strive to build a stronger economy,” Tranum added
MAST and Dream It Do It Western New York serve the three-county region of Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua and employ more than 18,000 people and generates $7.5 billion in manufacturing shipments. Manufacturing in the three-county region accounts for 15% of the total workforce which is well beyond the 8% national average, Tranum noted.
Dunkirk Local Development Corp. Chairman Vince DeJoy said without manufacturing as an economic driver, the county would not be as well off as it is, and would not be able to attract some of the companies that have become big employers.
“With resources from JCC, I am looking into internships that will definitely have an impact on my future, and continue my education after JCC. Education is the key to life,” said Jaleine Jimenez, PTECH and JCC student in the mechanical technology program.
JCC President Daniel DeMarte said that JCC was proud to host the kickoff.
“JCC continues to expand its support of manufacturers through collaborative efforts with numerous public and private partners to meet the workforce training needs that are critical to the economic wellbeing of the region,” DeMarte said.
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