From the Chair: Dave Phillips
(FAME Chair; Training Manager, G.W. Lisk)
FAME members and partners,
As our nation emerges from COVID and we all prepare to move forward, we have a rare opportunity to re-establish our goals and objectives. In our last meeting the Executive Committee wanted to take a look at our mission and make sure it still meets the needs of our membership.
Reviewing some of our historical documents, we found content that helped us understand why the founding members created FAME and what some of the issues were. One document from 2008 (excerpted below) really helps to summarize what the needs and concerns of the time were. At the time, manufacturers felt they had little voice in education and policy. Now I believe we all have an open communication and collaborative approach toward workforce development.
“FAME is a partnership of manufacturers supported by regional workforce and economic development agencies whose primary goals are to increase development and prosperity in the Finger Lakes region through manufacturing networks, mentoring youth on the attractions of a career in manufacturing, and helping them to prepare for a successful career.
· Run by manufacturers for the benefit of manufacturers
· Provides opportunity for all advanced manufacturing companies in the Finger Lakes region to collaborate and discuss common issues
· Attracts the best people into manufacturing fields in order to maintain our competitive advantages and provide exciting careers in our region
· An exclusive network created to get things done “
FAME has always been a grass roots operation with an emphasis on local effort and local benefit. Through the efforts of our membership we have developed strong relationships with academia, government and industry partners. FAME has raised community awareness that there are many good paying advanced manufacturing jobs here in the Finger Lakes region, provided facilitation with stakeholders to review and modernize/optimize educational programs to help ensure workplace readiness of the students, and encouraged local manufacturers to expand internship programs to provide students with real world work experience.
As we move forward, I feel these goals are still very important, however I wonder if we need to change our tactics or refine our mission. As the community changes we will need to become more creative in how we attract and retain the highly skilled workforce that is so crucial to our ability to compete in a global marketplace.