Senator John W. Mannion Secures $750K to Fund Workforce Training for High Demand and High Skill Manufacturing Jobs in CNY and Across the State

SOLVAY, NY – Senator John W. Mannion (D-Geddes) today visited the WestRock Paper Mill in Solvay to announce $750,000 to fund workforce training for high demand and highly skilled manufacturing jobs in Central New York.

The Manufacturing Association of Central New York (MACNY) administers the highly successful Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) and provides funding to several partner manufacturing organizations across the state. 

“If we’re going to succeed in making Central New York grow and prosper, we must have the skilled workforce that’s necessary to attract and support major employers,” said Senator Mannion. “Apprenticeships, like those created by MIAP through MACNY, and supported by strong partners like WestRock, are a proven path to both good paying careers and a more vibrant manufacturing sector. I’m proud to have secured another round of funding that will help MIAP engage additional partners and expand into new high-demand fields.”

MACNY Director of Apprenticeship Martha Ponge said, “I would like to thank Senator Mannion for his leadership and efforts in securing this vital funding. We greatly appreciate the continued support we have received from the State Legislature since MIAP launched in 2016. Since then, the program has grown to serve hundreds of apprentices in Central New York and beyond. We also have expanded into new trades and industries to provide successful career pathways for the hardworking men and women, like those here at WestRock, who have and continue to help keep our factories running.”

Peter Tantalo, WestRock Solvay General Manager said, “WestRock’s Solvay mill provides hundreds of well-paying jobs for the Syracuse area, but like other manufacturers, we sometimes struggle with finding qualified applicants to fill them. That’s why the New York State Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program is so important. By matching employers with qualified apprentices, the MIAP program helps local manufacturers like WestRock fill our workforce needs while at the same time unlocking rewarding career pathways for the people in our community. WestRock has been a participant in the MIAP program in partnership with the Manufacturers Association of Central New York since its inception, and we are very grateful to Senator Mannion for his work to secure funding for the program. We look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.”

MIAP raises the skill levels of incumbent and entry-level manufacturing workers while filling a crucial staffing need within many industries. First piloted by MACNY in Central New York, the effort has expanded statewide. Today, the program in Central New York has more than 60 active apprentices at more than 50 different companies in various fields, such as automotive, IT and gaming, food, and fine jewelry.  

With its use of trusted associations as intermediaries, along with its collaborations with industry, MIAP is a unique model of apprenticeship. Through MIAP, individuals obtain employment first and then receive necessary training supplied to them by an employer.  Because of this model, industry participants see an increase in productivity, reduced turnover, and greater employee retention. As employers continue to struggle to fill open positions, apprenticeships have proven year after year to serve as an important tool in addressing workforce development needs. 

MIAP is a critical tool for continuing to build a skilled workforce throughout New York. The program is an essential component of a workforce development strategy to build a stronger New York State economy through advanced manufacturing.  

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