Ask the Expert: Michael Frame, MACNY

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Michael Frame, EVP, MACNY

For this edition of Ask the Expert, we spoke with Mike Frame, Executive Vice President (EVP) of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY). Frame joined MACNY following a 20-year career in higher education, most recently as COO and Chief of Staff at SUNY Polytechnic. Here, he talks about the promise in New York’s manufacturing ecosystem and MACNY’s efforts to address the need to attract new people to the jobs now being created.

 

Give us a brief overview of MACNY.

MACNY has been around for 111 years. We have over 325 members, the majority of whom are manufacturers ranging from small and mid-sized companies to multinational corporations. The rest are other organizations involved in the manufacturing ecosystem.

Our major areas of focus include training and development; networking and enabling members to collaborate with each other; advocating and being a voice for manufacturers; corporate services such as health care and energy purchasing consortiums; and talent development.

 

What do most days find you doing?

As EVP, I play a leadership role in guiding the overall structure of MACNY and how we serve our members. I work across the state, developing, and deepening our partnerships with educational institutions, state and federal agencies, legislative staff, community-based organizations, and economic development partners.

One of the things I love most about this job is spending time with our members, hearing about their talent and workforce challenges, for example, and helping them find solutions.

 

Tell us about MACNY’s talent development initiatives.

Our approach to talent development is multi-faceted. First is Partners for Education and Business (PEB), which focuses on K-16 career exploration and work-based learning. This includes partnerships like P-TECH program in over 17 BOCES or school districts,

We are rapidly developing pre-apprenticeship pathways, moving people from BOCES and P-TECH programs into careers in manufacturing through interest alignment and skills development. We’re very proud of a program funded by Empire State Development, Real Life RosiesTM, to increase female participation in manufacturing through a Direct Entry pre-apprenticeship program. The program is currently in the Mohawk Valley, and we are currently working to expand across the state.

Third, we manage a statewide initiative – the Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP). In partnership with the New York State Department of Labor, MIAP provides group sponsorship and intermediary services for Registered Apprenticeship programs in manufacturing and IT. With our seven statewide partners, we have served over 1,000 individuals since the program began in 2017. As many individuals are looking for career pathways other than the traditional college route; “earn and learn” models like registered apprenticeships are incredibly attractive.

 

Why is this effort important?

The numbers show the need to focus on increasing the amount of talent available to the manufacturing ecosystem. Even before the CHIPS Act, there was a national projected shortfall of 2.1 M workers by 2030. Now with the emphasis on reshoring manufacturing combined with the Great Resignation and Silver Tsunami, this shortfall has only grown. As the current manufacturing workforce ages, the gap for those positions widens. That is why it is so critical to provide pathways to manufacturing careers starting in middle schools and high schools.

 

What exciting things are happening in manufacturing now?

The most exciting, even transformative, things have been federal and state policies to foster the reshoring of American manufacturing. The pandemic showed us a lot of things, one being that supply chain issues are real and if we cannot get the materials necessary for manufacturing, we are in real trouble as a nation. Semiconductor manufacturing is an area of critical need and now we have a host of opportunities as a direct result of the CHIPS Act and, at the state level, the Green CHIPS program. Obviously, the big headline is the attraction of Micron to Central New York, but we have seen growth at other companies, like GlobalFoundries, and we know there will be a supply chain that grows along with them.

While there is a lot of focus around new manufacturers coming in, we are also seeing investment from legacy manufacturers who have been a part of the state’s manufacturing ecosystem for decades. It is invigorating to see them develop new opportunities and grow their existing markets. Their growth is essential for New York State to continue to be a global leader in manufacturing.

 

What would you most like to get across to readers?

I have two major messages. The future of manufacturing in New York State is incredibly bright.

But this amazing growth does not come without challenges. The demand for talent will increase exponentially by the end of the decade. If a manufacturer lacks a plan focusing on attracting new individuals into the manufacturing sector, they will not be able to take advantage of this growth. I would encourage everyone to contact MACNY, FuzeHub, or one of our other partners, about a talent development strategy.

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