Students, businesses mark Mfg. Day at Utica campus event

November 2014

All across the country, the rich history of manufacturing was celebrated last month; and the Utica campus of SUNY Poly was no exception as it hosted more than two dozen manufacturers, colleges and agencies for National Manufacturing Day on October 3 in the Wildcat Field House. With the theme of “Made in the Mohawk Valley,” the day was dedicated to bringing high school and college students from throughout the area into contact with the people, places and faces of modern day manufacturing.

Manufacturing Day 2014“It’s a very exciting time in our area’s history,” Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi told the crowd. “From textiles to radios to nanotechnology, our area has a rich history of manufacturing. Today, we stand on the verge of the next great industrial age for New York State.”

Far from its gritty 19th-century origins, manufacturing today is mostly high-tech, advanced work in clean rooms, Brindisi noted, like those soon to be utilized in the Quad-C complex on campus.

It was a day to ponder possible future careers, degree pursuits, and see how alive and well manufacturing is today in the Mohawk Valley. An expo provided students a chance to interact with more than 30 manufacturers that ranged from Precision Machined Parts and Indium Corporation to Cooperstown Bat Company, Chobani and even Saranac – all providing the opportunity to see what is brewing right in their own backyard. For local high school students, the day was an opportunity to explore possible paths, both academic and professional, ask questions, watch demonstrations and talk with professionals about future job prospects.

“I think it’s really cool,” said Jenda Anna, a sophomore from Poland Central School. “It gives us an idea of what our future options might be.

The event included two panel presentations: one for manufacturers covering topics such as Environmental Compliance in NYS, Additive Manufacturing, Innovation and Technology Transfer, Industrial Vulnerability and Keeping the Business American Made, and one featuring recent graduates now working in manufacturing who shared their experiences with attending students. Event sponsor Workforce Development Institute also provided a screening of the film American Made in the Student Center.