A local program that works to get more skilled workers into manufacturing is starting strong after the pandemic put the program on pause.
Dream It, Do It Western New York‘s new coordinator, Francine Rondenell, said October is National Manufacturing Month, “What we tend to do during the month of October for Manufacturing month is to really try to get students into area manufacturers to tour, ask questions, see in person what today’s manufacturing looks like.”
Dream It, Do It is an initiative of the Manufacturer’s Association of the Southern Tier. MAST Executive Director Todd Tranum said workforce is the number one challenge faced by manufacturers and has been even before the issues brought on by the Pandemic, “We see Dream It, Do It as an important part of this. I mean, there’s other initiatives in the community that are important. JCC has made a significant investment in their workforce development side and in the Manufacturing Institute. We have the P-TECH program out of Dunkirk which is available to schools throughout the district. We’ve seen our specific schools make additional investments and recognizing the importance of skilled trades and manufacturing.”
Rondenell said the Dream It, Do It 500, which originated in Cattaraugus County, is coming to SUNY Fredonia this November. She said it’s a competition where students build and market rubber band powered cars, “But the task is for them to be on-site and coming up with the design and building it and testing it and then racing it. And we’ll have a panel of judges there who will be judging various criteria. We’re also planning on having some engineers from area manufacturers there who can help them with the design process.”
Rondenell said the competition had been held remotely last year, with over 300 students participating. She said STEM Wars also will be returning this Spring after being on hiatus.
For more information about the Dream It, Do It program, visit didiwny.com