The Federal Reserve has noted that “Upstate New
York holds a strong position in U.S. medical manufacturing. If the region
were a separate state, it would rank eighth nationally in medical equipment
and supply employment and eleventh in pharmaceutical jobs.” Utica
showed a high employment concentration in optical instruments & lenses
and electromedical equipment. ConMed Corporation, a producer of medical
devices for surgery and critical care, accounted for over half of Utica
’s approximately 1,400 jobs in medical manufacturing employment.
Empire Aero, a division of Israeli Aircraft Industries,
has relocated to Rome’s Griffiss Park and hopes to hire up to 500
people to repair jumbo jets and other aircraft. Empire has already been
expanding hiring since its 2003 arrival in Oneida County. The WIB has
worked with Mohawk Valley EDGE, the BOCES Consortium of Continuing Education
and the company to offer needed training that is helping the company grow.
Based on outreach to local employers, the major issue
facing manufacturers in any capacity is lowering their cost of doing business
and increasing their productivity. The WIB is working to help employers
improve efficiency by supporting training programs on a variety of levels:
Through the leadership of Gov. George Pataki and
the State Department of Labor, manufacturers are eligible for support
through the SMART Program: Training Workers in Manufacturing Industries
(For Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses) Request for Applications #17-K.
Information on seeking state funding is available on line at www.workforcenewyork.org.
The New York State Department of Labor’s Building
Skills in New York State (BUSINYS) Request For Applications #32-I also
offers up to $100,000 in training for all types of businesses, including
manufacturers. Information on seeking state funding is available on
line at www.workforcenewyork.org.
The WIB’s on-the-job training program, administered
by the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce, has successfully helped many
small manufacturers increase the skills of workers so that the company
can increase productivity or expand into new lines of business. Employers
with questions about the OJT programs can contact the WIB at 793-6037.