manufacturing

Monday, September 25, 2017 at 6:52 pm

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Information sourced from a press release, file photos:

Wyoming County is commonly known as a leader in the agricultural industry, but it is not well known that manufacturing is one of the county’s top business sectors. The county is home to approximately 50 unique manufacturers making products that range from automatic girth welders used on oil storage tanks around the world, products used in the automotive industry, to baked goods stocked on Jet Blue airplanes.

On Oct. 5 Wyoming County will celebrate Manufacturing Day – a nationwide grassroots movement dedicated to overcoming the shared challenges facing manufacturers today. Officials say it’s a way to recognize and highlight the contributions manufacturing makes to the economy of the county.

Manufacturing has experienced unprecedented growth in Wyoming County in metals-based manufacturing jobs since 2010, Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism President Scott Gardner says. This increase is due to the workforce, low energy and operational costs, and easy access to 50 percent of North America’s population. According to DataUSA, manufacturing jobs represent 13.5 percent of the workforce in Wyoming County. Our manufacturers employ more than 2,500 workers, 40 percent above the national average, and those workers on average earn $56,516 per year.

However, one of the most pressing issues facing manufacturers today is finding skilled labor. The gap between job requirements and applicant’s skill set is leaving 600,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled in the United States.

Manufacturers' ability to address this gap has been hindered by the public perception that careers in manufacturing are undesirable and by insufficient preparatory education. Both of these problems stem from a lack of understanding of present-day manufacturing environments, which are highly technical, officials say.

Manufacturing today includes highly trained, well-paid employees who work on state-of-the-art equipment, although the perception persists that they are often viewed as antiquated factories designed for low-skilled workers. This change in public perception is the first step in addressing one of the main challenges faced by manufacturers today – a gap in skilled labor.

“We are very pleased and fortunate to have a solid manufacturing base right here in the county,” Gardner said. “We recognize the economic contributions these companies are making every day, and their commitment to the workforce of Wyoming County. We also recognize that these companies also need a skilled labor force and environment that is friendly to business.”

One of the main reasons motivating Manufacturing Day is to introduce students to the potential of manufacturing careers. The event is a chance to spark student interest in manufacturing that could lead to further studies, a new generation of skilled workers, and an eventual closing of the skills gap. Giving students early exposure to manufacturing careers is critically important to ensuring a long-term talent pipeline.

“It’s a constant pleasure to visit and work with many of our manufacturers and it’s always a treat for me to see firsthand the products that are made here and witness the pride the workforce takes in their work and the satisfaction they realize knowing their quality products are being sold throughout the world,” said Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director James Pierce.

“The general public drives by these businesses every day but does not have a notion of what amazing things are going on behind the walls. That is why Manufacturing Day was created, to raise the awareness and importance of manufacturing.”

More than 64 percent of students in career and technical education (CTE) programs say that their own interests and personal experiences are the greatest influence on their future career decisions.

A recent Public Policy Institute survey reported New York employers say, STEM positions (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are the most difficult to fill. Additionally, the projection is that these workforce shortages will persist over the coming decade. Skilled production is the category in which they anticipate the most severe ongoing shortage.

STEM positions comprise four of the top five categories of positions that New York employers are finding most difficult to fill.

The national average age of a skilled worker in manufacturing is 56, according to a Manufacturing Institute report. The study also projects a shortage of two million workers between 2015 and 2025.

Employers responding to the Public Policy Institute survey also predict severe shortages in engineering and information technology occupations. They anticipate a more moderate shortage in mathematics-intensive occupations. These are the same top four workforce categories employers reported the highest difficulty filling jobs currently. However, they are more optimistic about occupations such as social science and architecture.

To bring more awareness to the issue this year, in cooperation with the Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency and Business Education Council, the Wyoming County Chamber is inviting area students in ninth and 10th grades to visit three local manufacturing businesses, Morton Salt in Silver Springs, Advanced Rubber Products in Wyoming, and the Marquart Company in Gainesville.

“We are excited to show our students the exciting opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide them as they are making their future career choices,” said Wyoming County Business Education Council Executive Director Linda Leblond. “We want to keep our talented youth right here in Wyoming County. Each business is unique in the types of jobs and manufacturing processes that take place and will offer students an up-close look at potential job opportunities.”

To learn more about Manufacturing Day, visit www.mfgday.com. For additional information on manufacturing in Wyoming County, call the Chamber at (585) 786-0307 or the IDA at (585) 786-3764.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Press release:

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program (ESAP) aims to help lower youth unemployment, close the middle-skills gap, provide trained workers for expanding and emerging workforces and generally develop a more competitive New York State workforce.  

On Tuesday, Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) joined Assemblyman Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) and Kevin Stump, Northeast regional director of Young Invincibles, in support of the program. Both Bronson and Gallivan championed the ESAP in the 2017-18 state budget.

“One of the challenges facing today’s employers is finding skilled workers, especially in advanced manufacturing and information technology fields,” Gallivan said. “By incentivizing manufacturers and other businesses to establish apprenticeship programs, we can create opportunities, close the skills gap, train workers for successful careers, reduce unemployment and help businesses grow. This program wisely invests in the future of New York’s economy and workforce.”

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program will help employers tap into more than 300,000 young people ages 16 to 24 years old across the state who are not in school or employed. It connects businesses with apprentices who can become skilled workers in fields including but not limited to nursing, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, photonics, health care, and information technology.

The cost of training these new employees will be offset through tax credits, which increase in value for each year of training an apprentice completes. Additional tax credits are available for employers who also mentor their apprentices in ways to overcome barriers to gainful employment.

Monday, November 16, 2015 at 12:37 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, manufacturing, Arcade, Perry, IDA.

Press release:

The Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) approved an estimated $160,000 of incentives for Krog Corporation at its Nov. 12 Board of Directors meeting. The inducements are to encourage the expansion of its building in the Arcade Business Park, Route 98 (Tanner Parkway), Arcade.  

Krog’s estimated capital investments of $1,425,000 will be used to expand its existing 16,000-square-foot building by building another 18,000 square feet. This expansion will allow Base Technology, a tenant and a manufacturer of electronic components, to use more room for its rapidly growing company. Base Tech currently has 61 employees; with the new expansion they expect to add another 35 positions within the next three years.

Krog Corp. is based in Orchard Park and was founded in 1995 by Peter J. Krog, an engineer. In 2008, Krog formed the limited liability company, Arcade REHC 1, LLC, and purchased the Arcade Business Park from the IDA, which had acquired the land and built the infrastructure to the property.  

Krog built a 16,000 square-foot building on the property in 2008 and leased approximately 8,000 square feet of the space to Base Technology. Last year, Base Technology outgrew the space and leased the remaining 8,000 square feet to accommodate its growth. Once again, Base Tech is looking to expand, thereby necessitating the expansion project.

“This is great project for Arcade and Wyoming County,” said IDA Executive Director Jim Pierce. “The Wyoming County IDA started working with Base Tech in 2007 when they reached out to the IDA in search of building space in Arcade. The company was previously located outside of Wyoming County and at the time discussions began they only had six employees.

"They were in need of clean building space, given their industry sector, we did not have any buildings that suited their needs. Luckily, the IDA had developed a relationship with Krog Corp., one of the top development firms in the area. Krog Corp. agreed to buy the land from the IDA and with inducements built a facility that was suitable for Base Tech. It came together very nicely and we now have a high tech growing company here in Wyoming County with great leadership and a very bright future.”

The IDA, 6470 Route 20A, Perry, is a public benefit corporation. Its mission is to “encourage and increase private investment that creates new job opportunities, retains and stabilizes the existing employment base, and generates added tax revenues through increased economic activity in Wyoming County.”

For more information call Jim Pierce at (585) 237-5080 or (585) 237-4110 or e-mail jpierce@wycobusiness.org.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 6:12 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, manufacturing, Arcade, Warsaw, Perry, Middlebury.

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Press release:

Wyoming County is home to more than 55 manufacturers making products ranging from automatic girth welders used on oil storage tanks around the world, to baked goods found on Jet Blue airplanes. 

Manufacturing has experienced unprecedented growth in Wyoming County, including a 400-percent increase in metals-based manufacturing jobs since 2010, according to Wyoming County Chamber and Tourism President Scott Gardner.

This increase is due to a highly skilled workforce, low energy and operational costs, and easy access to 50 percent of North America’s population. Wyoming County manufacturers employ more than 1,500 workers – 40 percent above the national average – and those workers, on average, earn $56,516 per year.

First established in 1848, Morton Salt, located in Silver Springs, is Wyoming County’s oldest manufacturer, and is just one of a host of local manufacturing companies that link Wyoming County to the world. These varied and diverse companies employ anywhere from 50 to more than 140 employees each, including Koike Aronson, API Heat Transfer, Inc., and Steel & O’Brien Manufacturing, all in Arcade; Upstate Door, Warsaw; Creative Food Ingredients, Perry; and Advanced Rubber Products, Middlebury. Many other manufacturers are also located in the county, and, according to Gardner, these companies are not only thriving, many are currently looking for hardworking individuals to join their workforce. 

To recognize and highlight the contributions that manufacturing is making every day to the county's economy, Manufacturing Day will be held Oct. 2. This nationwide grassroots movement is dedicated to overcoming the shared challenges facing manufacturers today.

“We are very pleased and fortunate to have a solid manufacturing base right here in the county,” Gardner said. “In addition to the economic contributions these companies are making, they also give back in countless other ways that contribute to the quality of life to local residents.”

The most pressing issue facing manufacturers is finding skilled labor: 600,000 manufacturing jobs are currently unfilled in the United States due to a gap between the job requirements and the skills of those who are applying for them.

Manufacturers' ability to address this gap has been hindered by the public perception that careers in manufacturing are undesirable and by insufficient preparatory education. Both of these problems stem from a lack of understanding of present-day manufacturing environments, which are highly technical. Manufacturing today includes highly trained, well-paid employees who work on state-of-the-art equipment. However, the perception persists that they are commonly thought of as antiquated factories designed for low-skilled workers. This change in public perception is the first step in addressing one of the main challenges faced by manufacturers today – a gap in skilled labor.

“In my position, I have the opportunity to visit and work with many of our manufacturers and it’s always a treat for me to see firsthand the products that are made here and witness the pride the workforce takes in their work and the satisfaction they realize knowing their quality products are being sold throughout the world,” said Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) Executive Director James Pierce. “The general public drives by these businesses every day but does not have a notion of what amazing things are going on behind the walls. That is why Manufacturing Day was created, to raise the awareness and importance of manufacturing.”

To learn more about Manufacturing Day, visit www.mfgday.com. For additional information on manufacturing in Wyoming County, call the Wyoming County Chamber at (585) 237-0230 or the Wyoming County IDA at (585) 237-4110.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, manufacturing.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) issued the following statement after joining Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) and others in introducing the bipartisan Manufacturing Universities Act.

"As a small business owner who worked in manufacturing for over 35 years, I understand the difficulty in training and finding qualified manufacturing workers," said Congressman Collins. "To expand manufacturing in Western New York, we need to have a workforce capable of filling these skilled jobs. I am proud to join Rep. Esty in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will provide partnering colleges and universities the resources necessary to equip their students with the skills needed to succeed in manufacturing."

"I'm proud to join my friend and colleague Rep. Collins in introducing our bipartisan Manufacturing Universities Act," said Congresswoman Esty. "Manufacturers provide good-paying jobs for our hard-working families, but manufacturers often struggle to find workers with the right skill sets. By providing additional support for manufacturing in engineering programs at colleges and universities, we can prepare the next generation of engineers for exciting-and in-demand-manufacturing jobs."

"SUNY proudly supports the Manufacturing Universities Act of 2015 as it helps pave the way for the advancement of manufacturing efforts across the country," said State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "We thank Rep. Collins and Rep. Etsy for their leadership recognizing the valuable role public universities play in educating and training students for the 21st century workforce."

The bill would establish a Manufacturing Universities program within the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology. Colleges and universities with existing engineering programs would be eligible to apply for the Manufacturing University designation, which would include up to $5 million annually for four years to improve engineering programs. Its emphasis will be on manufacturing, increase the number of joint projects with manufacturing firms, and support students who participate in cooperative education and apprenticeships with manufacturers.

The Manufacturing Universities Act has been referred to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The bill is bipartisan and bicameral. The other House cosponsors are Reps. Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Mike Thompson (D-CA). The companion bill in the Senate was introduced by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 10:27 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Wethersfield, manufacturing.

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There are 600,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States that need to be filled. In Wyoming County alone, there are more than 55 manufacturers. Exposing young people to manufacturing careers right in Wyoming County, may entice the younger generation to stay close to home, says Karl Drasgow, owner of Drasgow Inc..

Manufacturing is really a technical field so jobs in manufacturing typically require two years of schooling in the technical field. Most manufacturers want applicants to have at least two years in BOCES.

“Machining is a big deal,” Drasgow said. “The industry is lacking in those who want to do machining. When I went to BOCES, I originally went for the auto mechanics course, which included machine shop. I found that I liked machining better, so I switched courses and took machine shop.”

Drasgow began his 30-year career as a machinist after establishing a small, successful farm business raising beef and pork. He then built an agricultural repair shop in 2000, where he started doing machine work on his own. 

“There’s a disconnect between what is out there money wise to what people -- kids, parents -- think is out there," said Director of Wyoming County Planning and Development William J. Daly, “Kids have no real concept to the reality of work.”

According to Daly, two out of four people need trade degrees to fill the jobs that are essential, such as a plumber, electrician or machinist.

“Those jobs will not go away,” Drasgow said. “They will always be needed.”

The company that Drasgow initially worked for had several high-volume parts that they needed to reduce their cost on, but didn’t want to send the work oversees. This is when the entrepreneur decided to produce the parts himself. In 2003, Drasgow was incorporated. It makes the raw pieces for parts; they are the first or blanking operation for Tier I parts manufacturers. The company is considered a Tier II automotive supplier.

It is located on the unpaved portion of Poplar Tree Road. Although the plant is in an out-of-the-way rural location, its production has climbed steadily.

When they outgrew their facility in Sheldon, they under went a major expansion and in 2007 constructed a 6,500-square-foot building in Wethersfield. In 2008, the company purchased a CNC lathe and in 2010 a CNC mill. During the first six years in the new plant, they also doubled their multi-spindle screw machine capacity, going from four to eight machines. These machines make separate parts, but have the ability to adjust for similar parts when necessary.

In 2013, they completed a three-phase addition to the original building, bringing the total square footage of the plant to about 15,800. Additionally, with the purchase of a structure next to the facility, the total square footage of the plant is 18,000. With the new additions, Drasgow was able to increase the number of screw machines to 12.

The growth allowed the company to diversify and take on another contract from a local manufacturer.

Drasgow, Inc., has 23 full-time employees and according to Drasgow, there is a nice ratio between young and old, male and female.

“We hire mostly for attitude,” Drasgow said. “Ethics in working and mechanical ability are a plus. We do assume to train people for particular tasks, however.

“Slowly build your company,” Drasgow continued. “When people see that, it becomes an attraction to the job.

“I started from the ground up,” the owner said. “I want people to know it is possible and they can be successful in manufacturing. I want people to see that there are manufacturing jobs out there.”

According to Drasgow, American corporations are rapidly growing weary of the poor quality products produced oversees and are recognizing the high cost of reworking or even scrapping these products. Big international corporations are starting to move manufacturing back to the States.

“There is really a boom going on right now,” Drasgow said. “We are starting to see a big issue with our steel producers keeping up with the increased demand. I guess that is a good problem to have compared with the recession of 2008."

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