Friday, March 29, 2013
The graduates of the FLCC-G.W. Lisk Co. advanced manufacturing machinist training program. Front, from left: Alex Rooze, Paul Deal, Adam Llano, Shane Mott, Jay Howe, Diana Austin, Anthony Charlton. Back, from left: Dan Nowak, Chris Keery, Ken Tack, A.J. Lisi, Jake Richardson, John Montgomery, Jon Youngs. Not shown: James Walburn.
All 15 members of the second class in the advanced manufacturing machinist training program sponsored by Finger Lakes Community College and G.W. Lisk Co. had jobs or job offers by the March 26 graduation ceremony.
Graduates of the six-month program, a combination of classroom and hands-on training, celebrated at Warfield’s Restaurant in Clifton Springs.
“The skills our graduates use today are quite different from what they were five years ago, 10 years ago,” said Mark Kowalski, president of G.W. Lisk Co., as he held up an anti-ice valve for a jet. G.W. Lisk manufactures valves, flame arrestors and solenoids for military, aerospace, medical and other industries.
FLCC President Barbara Risser said those skills are hard to find, citing a study by the National Association of Manufacturers that found 80 percent of manufacturers say their top concern is finding qualified workers.
“It’s not trade policy, it’s not taxes, it’s not regulations. It’s finding qualified workers,” she said.
John Montgomery of Penn Yan was looking for a chance to retrain following several years in building maintenance.
“The job market was very thin for that so I thought of upgrading my skills to find a better quality job,” Montgomery said. He found a job with G.W. Lisk at the close of the program.
Graduates are as follows:
Shane Mott of Lima
Dan Nowak of Canandaigua
Adam Llano of Clifton Springs
Jake Richardson of Farmington
Christopher Keery, AJ Lisi and James Walburn of Geneva
Alex Rooze of Phelps
Jay Howe of Seneca Falls
Paul Deal of Waterloo
Ken Tack of Lyons
Diana Austin of Newark
Jon Youngs of Sodus
John Montgomery of Penn Yan
Anthony Charlton of Middlesex
Lynn Freid, FLCC’s director of workforce development, said FLCC is committed to working with industry to help meet the growing demand for workers with what are known as “middle skills,” those that require more than a high school education but less than a four-year degree.
Each graduate also received a certificate of congratulations from Congressman Tom Reed, who invited Freid to talk about the program to lawmakers in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.
“As demand continues to grow for highly skilled machinists in our state and across the country, students who have taken part in education-industry partnerships, like the one between Finger Lakes Community College and GW Lisk, will be well positioned to take advantage of sustainable job opportunities,” Reed said. “Innovative programs like the advanced manufacturing machinist training program serve to fill the workforce need in the manufacturing industry – an industry whose success is vital to our country’s ability to make a strong economic recovery.”