Olean, New York – As employers in Western New York struggle to fill open jobs in the field of skilled manufacturing, the region’s Dream It. Do It. (DIDI) program is leading efforts to address this challenge. With a multi-faceted approach that connects educators, students and manufacturers, the program is designed to introduce young people to the rewarding career opportunities that exist in today’s advanced manufacturing field. Senator Young, a longtime supporter of Dream It. Do It., secured $80,000 in funding for the program in the 2017-18 state budget. She visited with students participating in the program at the Manufacturing Technology Institute at the Olean campus of Jamestown Community College.
“Traditionally, manufacturing jobs have been a solid path to the middle class for families, offering good income, job security and benefits. With changes in technology, the nature of many manufacturing jobs has changed, requiring more technical and STEM-related skills. Dream It. Do It. is helping to build a regional talent pipeline for these jobs through education and outreach to students, educators and manufacturers,” said Senator Young. “Jobs in advanced manufacturing can offer our young people rewarding careers and an excellent quality of life. Awakening them to these opportunities is the heart of the Dream It. Do It. mission.”
Dream It. Do It. is a national program developed by the Manufacturing Institute, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers. The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier brought the program to the region in 2009.
Since then, DIDI has supported 1,610 students through technology camps, provided 638 teachers and counselors with work experience, toured and provided presentations to 30,966 students, and placed 176 interns.
“The support of Senator Young has been a key component to the success of Dream It. Do It.,” stated Todd Tranum, Executive Director of the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier and President/CEO of Dream It. Do It. Western New York. The Senator has been a strong advocate for manufacturing and has helped Dream It. Do It. develop a strong presence across the region.”
Senator Young met with fifteen Allegany Limestone students at the Manufacturing Technology Institute (MTI) at Jamestown Community College’s Olean campus, a training facility featuring simulated manufacturing space. MTI provides students with the equipment and programs needed to train for careers in advanced manufacturing. at an event called FRI@MTI. FRI@MTI is coordinated by Dream It Do It and instructed by Xavier Smith. These extended workshops for area students are designed to introduce them to possible careers and make them comfortable with the equipment at MTI@JCC.
Tranum noted that this latest grant funding will enable DIDI to continue to implement strategies to educate teachers and the community about manufacturing, energize young people about the career possibilities in the STEM fields and provide hands on experiences and opportunities.
Senator Young said: “Manufacturing is the backbone of our regional economy, accounting for approximately 20 percent of our workforce – more than double the national figure of nine percent. Ensuring the long-term health of the sector depends on cultivating a regional workforce that is prepared to fill these jobs. Dream It. Do It. is leading the way in this effort and inspiring countless young people to plan and pursue bright futures that include manufacturing careers.”