Magazine article The Catalyst

Cooperation Leads to Meeting Employment Needs

Magazine article The Catalyst

Cooperation Leads to Meeting Employment Needs

Article excerpt

COMMUNITY COLLEGE SHARING CORNER

The seeds of cooperation among training providers were sown with a workforce training project funding by Southern Tier West and the Appalachian Regional Commission. Educational institutions in the three county region came together to organize and conduct training programs for area companies. The group quickly realized the best way to manage the project was to cooperate with one another.. ..not to compete against one another. This successful project has kept the training providers in contact with one another even now, almost eight years after the project was concluded.

During the summer of 2008, Dresser Rand called a group together to talk about the need to replace skilled employees in welding, machining, engineering, and manufacturing. With the foundation of cooperation in place, Jamestown Community College (JCC), The Cattaraugus Allegany BOCES, the Olean, Hinsdale, and Allegany Limestone School Districts, Alfred State College, Dresser Rand and Napoleon Engineering came together to discuss how this need could be met. After months of meetings, the Southern Tier Advanced Manufacturing Initiative (STAMI) became a reality. Instead of focusing on points of conflict, these educational providers stayed focused on the problem that Dresser Rand and other area manufacturers were having. As they examined the programs that were being provided in the region, it became evident that a critical missing component of the educational system was a machining program in the region. They worked together to overcome this shortcoming and in the end were able to provide a regional educational system in which each partner knows their own role and how they can positively interact with others.

STAMI has designed and started to implement a feeder system to meet the critical advanced manufacturing workforce needs in the Southern Tier of Western New York State. As part of the feeder system, the project includes the development of a machining program to support the greater Olean area. Retirements over the next 1 0 years will create a shortage of qualified machinists, drafters, CAD operators, and welders to support industry operations, with few technicians in the pipeline. With only a 1% unemployment rate for machinists, those with this skill will most likely find work.

By example, the increasing demand for energy in recent years is driving growth in turbo machinery manufacturing in support of oil and gas industries. DresserRand, the largest employer in New York's Southern Tier, Alstom Power of Wellsville, and Napoleon Engineering Services of Olean, all have immediate needs for highly qualified manufacturing technologists to support current operations and future growth. …

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