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Colleges as partners to manufacturing?

It’s great to hear and read the words “Made in America!”

In our region there are great products being produced all around us.

Fulton-Montgomery Community College has teamed up with Mohawk Valley Community College to bring more resources to local manufacturers. FM’s Center for Employer Services is now working with MVCC’s Advanced Institute for Manufacturing on a Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

This grant-funded project is designated by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation, and by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Advanced Institute for Manufacturing is one of 10 Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers in New York State that works to connect the manufacturing community to statewide resources.

The Mohawk Valley project serves small- and medium-size manufacturing companies in Fulton, Montgomery, Schoharie, Herkimer, Oneida and Otsego counties by providing training, consulting and technology development services to help companies run more efficiently, increase profits, develop new innovative products and create and retain jobs.

Colleges have the unique advantage of attracting experts with extensive industry-specific experience to work as faculty and consultants on projects to support local companies.

This new collaboration between FM and MVCC is a great example of community colleges leveraging the collective talents and facilities of both institutions to advance the business objectives of manufacturers in this region.

In order to remain competitive in the U.S. and international markets, companies are putting increased emphasis on the efficiency of their manufacturing processes and elevating the level of quality in their products.

This project will help local manufacturers to grow and sustain their businesses by offering the expertise of industry specialists to teach and implement quality management procedures, process improvement techniques, network and cybersecurity systems, website designs, strategic business plans, and support research and product development efforts through prototyping and design engineering.

In many business sectors, there are industry standards and certifications that are required in order for companies to procure contracts for their products and services. Buyers have confidence when they know that a company is following procedures established by the International Standardization Organization, which has prompted many manufacturers to attain various levels of ISO certifications.

In food processing, they look for assurance that the production facility is following Safe Quality Foods procedures. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership can assist companies to attain these important certifications and address requirements mandated by the OSHA and environmental compliance agencies.

As modern production facilities have become more automated, FM has also expanded the services of our Advanced Manufacturing Lab to train students and employees on how to repair and maintain high-tech production equipment.

Training is available through the FM Center for Employer Services for all local companies to develop workforce skills in supervision and management, sales, customer service, workplace safety and the full range of computer applications required to support the daily operations.

Programs are customized to the needs of each employer. FM is committed to developing more resources for businesses and the hard working people of this community so they can continue to make great products in New York.

For more information, call the FM Center for Employer Services at 424-9370 or email Theresa.Craig@fmcc.edu

Theresa DaBiere-Craig is the Outreach Representative for the Center for Employer Services at FM.

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