Podcast: A2A All the Way

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The Advance 2 Apprenticeship (A2A) program is an employment initiative that’s improving access to apprenticeship programs for people with intellectual and development disabilities. It’s also providing a non-traditional source of talent to NYS manufacturers who are facing workforce challenges.

In the Empire State, apprenticeship programs for people with disabilities have a record of success, as shown in this video.  Yet misconceptions remain, beginning with the word “disabled” itself. Join host Steve Melito as he interviews this dedicated team of workforce professionals:

  • Colleen Blagg is the Manager of Apprenticeship and Workforce Development at MACNY, the Manufacturers’ Association of Central New York
  • Marilee Boylan is Director of Employment Programs at the University of Rochester
  • Brandy Solomon is Employment Project Coordinator at the University of Rochester
  • Pat Dowse of the Dowse Factor is a consultant for MACNY and a resource that Steve describes as “a force of nature”

By embracing the untapped potential of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the A2A program not only opens doors to meaningful employment opportunities but also enriches the workforce with a diverse array of talents and perspectives. As manufacturers seek to address their workforce challenges, this initiative offers a fresh and inclusive solution, fostering a more equitable and dynamic workforce for the future.

Listen to the podcast here.


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