ORISKANY — As the state works to rebuild its economy in the wake of COVID-19, officials are looking at ways to boost existing programs to provide more job training opportunities for State University of New York students.
In a Wednesday press conference, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras joined New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon; Frank Giotto, founder and owner of Fiber Instrument Sales in Oriskany; SUNY’s Mohawk Valley Community College President Randall VanWagoner; and others to highlight an ongoing SUNY Apprenticeship partnership with employers.
In the latest developments, SUNY is now partnering with Oriskany’s Fiber Instrument Sales - a company that developes, manufactures and sells fiber optic cables for the communication industry - to offer paid apprenticeships for SUNY students.
The partnered apprentice program combines paid, on-the-job training with traditional educational instruction, helping companies attract, train, retain, and promote employees.
Which, according to Giotto, there is a huge need for.
“We make custom products. We require skilled technicians,” said Frank Giotto, Chief Executive Officer of Fiber Instrument Sales. He added that for manufacturing employers, there currently is a deficit of skilled workers.
That’s where apprentice programs come in.
Giotto said in a portion of a separate statement, “We have a lot to celebrate today, and it’s an exciting time for Giotto Enterprises and for SUNY. Over the years, I’ve witnessed a loss in skilled technicians—it’s for this reason, I’m a true believer of the New York State Apprenticeship Program. This program is getting the attention of energetic people to come aboard and learn a new trade and skill...”
“It’s a winner for the trainee,” Giotto said.
In additional remarks, Malatras said the state is fully engaged in training the workforce of tomorrow, by providing valuable student experience.
One hundred and four companies are now part of the program. Giotto’s enterprise is now one of them.
“Since the program’s 2017 inception, 28 SUNY institutions have provided educational support to 385 apprentices working in full-time, paid positions. SUNY has also trained hundreds of pre-apprentices who are ready to continue their training as apprentices in paid, full-time positions. Throughout the pandemic, SUNY has provided educational support to 124 apprentices and 22 pre-apprentices, helping people reimagine and rebuild their careers and lives during a tumultuous period.
According to New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) data, salaries for experienced apprentices range between $50,000 and $100,000,” reads a release.