Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Unveils “Guaranteed Jobs” Training Initiative

Posted October 16, 2014

SUNY Ulster and BOCES will offer 10-week curriculum with certification for new manufacturing jobs

KINGSTON, NY — After discussions with many Ulster County’s manufacturers about their need for a workforce with specific skills, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein created a new manufacturing job training initiative – the Ulster County Guaranteed Jobs Program – a pilot plan designed to train and place Ulster County residents in jobs in the county’s manufacturing sector. At the County Executive’s direction, SUNY Ulster and BOCES collaborated with the County Executive’s Office of Economic Development and Office of Employment and Training to create this pilot training program. Initially, 12 people are expected to participate in this pilot and it is being funded by the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency (UCIDA).

“This is about matching workers with quality jobs. SUNY Ulster and BOCES have created an ideal curriculum,” said County Executive Hein, “The way the Guaranteed Jobs Program works is selected participants will complete a 3-week Work Readiness component followed by a one week Closed Job Fair. They will then complete a 6-week Manufacturing Skills Training course and pass the Certified Production Technician Exam in order to graduate. Graduates are expected to receive guaranteed job offers by Ulster County’s private manufacturers. Once this pilot program is complete, we will evaluate its effectiveness in order to create a program that will meet the ongoing needs of our manufacturers.”

The Ulster County Industrial Development Agency (UCIDA) has pledged $48,000 to fund this important initiative. According to UCIDA Chair Mike Horodyski, “The Ulster County IDA is fully supportive of the Guaranteed Jobs Pilot Program. Part of the mission of the IDA is to advance the job opportunities, general prosperity and long-term economic vitality of Ulster County residents by offering assistance to retain and expand existing business. This program fits nicely within our mission and we are pleased to be part of helping Ulster County residents to get good jobs."

“County Executive Hein’s Guaranteed Jobs program is an innovative way to help both area manufacturers and the workforce. We’re constantly looking for manufacturing employees who have the skills we need in a more technology based manufacturing environment. This is very difficult to find,” said Selux Human Resources Director Ellen Anderson. “Creating a pipeline of qualified talent in the manufacturing sector will not just benefit Selux but all manufacturers in Ulster County, allowing us to concentrate on growing our businesses, rather than spending time trying to find qualified talent.”

The pilot program will serve 12 Ulster County residents who are unemployed or underemployed in a 10-week training program. The program is expected to start on Monday, September 8, 2014 with a 3-week, 72 hour training in work readiness, computer basics, math basics, machining and blueprint reading.

During the week of September 29, 2014, participants will then be interviewed at a job fair being held specifically for them. At this time, employers are expected to commit to hiring or “guaranteeing jobs” for the participants who graduate from the program. In the last phase of the program, beginning October 6, 2014 and lasting six weeks, they will receive an additional 144 hours of training leading to a national certified production technician certification. Training areas will include safety; quality, practices and measurements; manufacturing processes and production; and maintenance awareness. Once all program requirements are completed, and the participants pass the certification exam, they will be guaranteed employment by the manufacturer for at least one year, assuming their continued performance remains satisfactory.

BOCES Superintendent Dr. Charles Khoury stated, "Ulster BOCES is pleased to be working with SUNY Ulster on this program to support employment in our county, and provide manufacturers with new employees with the skills necessary to be successful. I applaud County Executive Hein and his staff for making this a priority, and know our staff will do all that is necessary to support the selected students in receiving their Certified Production Technician (CPT) certification."

SUNY Ulster President Don Katt stated, "Having a well-trained workforce is critical to the economic success of Ulster County and having business and education work together is the key to making this happen. The Guaranteed Jobs Program brings business and education together to create direct pathways to jobs. Many students at SUNY Ulster and Ulster BOCES want to work right here in Ulster County, and this program gives them that opportunity."

Ulster County residents interested in enrolling in the program should call the Ulster County Office of Employment and Training’s Business Services Representative Bill McDonough at 340-3170. Manufacturers interested in participating should call Office of Economic Development Director Suzanne Holt at 845-340-3556.