Talent Pipeline Management and Manufacturing Apprenticeship Intermediary Program

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Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce

Though talent is a renewable resource, manufacturing is lagging in generating a workforce with the needed skills and qualifications required to compete in a global market.  Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) is a demand driven solution that works by applying the lessons from supply chain management, used in industry, to manage education and workforce partnerships. 

The Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier (MAST) is working with local manufacturers to generate a clear link between their talent strategy and their business strategy to identify the jobs upon which their competitiveness depends.  Employers are the end customers of talent supply chains, working through the TPM initiative with MAST, a preferred network of partners is being put together and managed to supply the talent needed in today’s workforce.  As with any supply chain, quality is one of the key activities in this initiative.  To be successful infrastructure must be introduced to ensure end-to-end performance tracking at every stage of the supply chain.  Beneficiaries of this initiative include:

Employers: get a better prepared workforce

Providers:  achieve better outcomes for students

Students and Workers: can access clear career pathways

Policy Makers: generate a higher return on their education and workforce investments

To further address the workforce challenge, MAST is partnering with the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) to counter the wider skills gap that this trend threatens by creating the area’s first intermediary apprenticeship program.  The MAST-MACNY Manufacturing Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) is designed to assist manufacturers throughout Chautauqua and Cattaraugus in training workers for high-skill trades, many of which will be or already are being vacated by retiring workers.

MAST’s program is modeled after MACNY’s MIAP in Central New York. Under the program, MAST will serve as the intermediary between participating companies and the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), which regulates apprenticeships statewide.  MAST will offer the intermediary services free-of-charge. On Wednesday, October 17, MAST will host an Apprenticeship Informational Session at the Manufacturing Technology Institute. Interested employers are invited to attend. Staff from MAST and MACNY will all be in attendance to review the program and answer any questions.

The MIAP apprenticeship program has matured in central New York, under the leadership of MACNY, allowing small to mid-sized companies to take advantage of NYS Department of Labor apprenticeships without having to put into place the infrastructure required to manage such a program.  Here in Chautauqua County we are working to replicate that success using their best practices and lessons learned.  As the intermediary, MAST becomes the DOL sponsor for the program, managing all the requisite paperwork and assisting with curricula development and execution as well as organizing each apprentices outside coursework.  MIAP is a great opportunity to develop the technical skills local manufacturers need to compete in today’s economic environment.  Apprenticeship programs are also a great tool for employee retention, providing a pathway to advancement in an organization while maximizing employee buy-in.

MAST expects to start placing apprenticeships by fall of 2018.  As the program’s sponsoring entity, MAST will be responsible for apprentices over the course of their training periods.  Most apprenticeship programs have a duration of four years.  During that period, apprentices will undergo 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of related instruction per year.  For manufacturers, the MAST MIAP provides a means for a stable and growing workforce, but for apprentices it means a pathway to higher paying jobs.