The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program (FLYAP) hosted its second annual Women in Manufacturing Summit Wednesday at NextCorps in downtown Rochester. The hybrid event hosted more than 100 students and educators in person and another 75 virtually. The summit is a part of the RTMA’s celebration of National Apprenticeship Week.
FLYAP is a one-of-a-kind career exploration program that connects high school juniors and seniors to job shadows and paid co-ops at advanced manufacturing companies across the greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region. One of the program’s goals is to connect more young women to youth apprenticeships, careers, training programs and other opportunities. FLYAP also supports the annual ROC With Your Hands career exploration event, Genesee Valley Pre-Apprenticeship Boot Camp and FLAME 585 Explorers Post.
“The invaluable contributions of women in advanced manufacturing not only diversity perspectives but also drive innovation, ensuring a dynamic and inclusive industry that thrives on the strengths of all its participants,” said panelist, Dr. Alexis Vogt, Endowed Chair and Professor of Optics at Monroe Community College. “Encouraging young women to explore optics and manufacturing opens doors to a world of limitless possibilities, where their talents and ideas not only shape the future of technology but also pave the way for a more diverse and empowered workforce.”
Women make up nearly half of the overall workforce and according to the National Association of Manufacturing, women account for 29% of the manufacturing workforce. The National Association for Women in Manufacturing reports that nearly women hold one in four leadership positions in the field.
“Diversity in team members builds a strong, resilient and resourceful team, community, industry and country; but most importantly, it creates opportunities for individuals of all walks of life to create a career that can bring fulfillment and long-term success,” added panelist Stacy Fox, COO of Marson Tool and Die. “I would love to see more women enter the manufacturing workforce for this very reason.”
More than 100 students and educators from schools throughout the city of Rochester, Monroe County and GLOW Region attended Women in Manufacturing Summit in-person. Dozens of additional students throughout the greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region joined the event virtually via Zoom. A recording of the event will be shared with schools and businesses.
“Events like the Women in Manufacturing Summit provide young women a chance to network and learn from local industry experts in one of the region’s largest industries,” said FLYAP Program Director Rich Turner. “As the father of a teenage daughter, I want her to know of these great careers, apprenticeship programs and training opportunities in our area.”
The Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association and Monroe Community College created the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program in 2018 to connect high school juniors and seniors to careers in advanced manufacturing through job shadows and paid co-ops. To date, more than 650 students from over two dozen schools have been connected to more than 150 local businesses. FLYAP students have also earned more than 1,500 college credits at no cost through MCC’s Dual Enrollment program.
FLYAP is currently in its 5th school year and will have its annual Matching Day interviews later this year. The Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program is committed to a yearlong dialogue with schools, students and families through several events. Those interested in participating in FLYAP’s programs can call (585) 510-4278 or email [email protected].