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State of the Workforce
Herkimer, Madison and Oneida Counties

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Advanced ManufacturingAdvanced Manufacturing

Key Factors

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.

Policy Actions

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.

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