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Driving a New National Skills Policy:
Why Local Partnerships Like FAME Make a Difference!


The Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers’ Enterprise (FAME) was pleased to present Mr. Charlie Crumb, of the Technical Assistance Center of New York, at its annual industry/education event on January 22, 2014 at Monroe Community College.


Mr. Crumb discussed career and technical education, and elements of New York State’s new Common Core program, in an event attended by 160 industry representatives and educators. The scheduled keynote speaker, Mr. Andy VanKleunen of the National Skills Coalition, was unfortunately a victim of the coastal storm that closed airports from Boston to Washington DC. We thank Mr. Crumb for stepping in to provide a wonderful and informative talk to all of our attendees!


For a link to the slides from Mr. Crumb’s presentation, click HERE!


The event began with a networking session aimed at bringing educators and industry representatives together to discuss opportunities for students in middle skills CTE fields.



Several speakers helped to reinforce the FAME message of the importance of business and educational organizations working together to promote opportunities in CTE for students of all ages.



MCC Welcome, Dr. Anne Kress (left); Monroe 2 BOCES District Superintendent Jo Anne Antonacci (right).



Mike Mandina, FAME Chair/Optimax Systems (left); Ron Golumbeck, ITT Goulds Pumps and Chair of FAME’s Hiring & Training Committee (right).



A crowd of 160 educators and industry partners (above and below) filled the room.





Jim VanKouwenberg from Optimax Systems (left); Bill Rotenberg, FLWIB Advanced Manufacturing Career Navigator (right).



Eileen Rucinski, Chair of FAME’s Pipeline Committee (left); Joe Wesley, Wegmans (right).



Todd Oldham, MCC (left); Dr. Barbara Risser, FLCC (right).



Featured speaker: Charlie Crumb, NYS CTE.


The event concluded with the presentation of this year’s FAME STARAward to Dr. Sam Samanta of FLCC. FAME’s STAR Award recognizes individuals who have displayed leadership in developing innovative educational and training options and programs for advanced manufacturing and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. The STAR Award recognizes Students, Teachers, and Advanced Manufacturing Relationships in pursuit of FAME’s goal to promote awareness of advanced manufacturing careers in the pipeline.


Dr. Samanta was the academic champion to get the ICT program underway at Finger Lakes Community College. IC Tech, or Instrumentation and Control Technologies, is a new degree at FLCC that trains students in knowledge and skills that are in short supply among Finger Lakes area manufacturers. Sam has an internship program built into the curriculum and all students must participate in it. He is also currently working on a one year certificate program. Dr. Samanta has been a staunch FAME supporter and member since its inception and has developed the curriculum with an advisory board of FAME business members. Sam’s passion for his program, his students and FAME shines through in all of his efforts.



FAME Chair Mike Mandina (left) and 2014 STAR Award winner Dr. Sam Samanta of FLCC (right).



Dr. Samanta even had ICT pamphlets with him at the event – his enthusiasm is hard to resist!


Event Overview:

  • 4:00pm MCC Welcome, Dr Anne Kress (President – MCC)
  • 4:10pm FAME Welcome/Update, Mike Mandina (FAME, Chair; President, Optimax Systems Inc.)
  • 4:20pm FAME Committee Updates:
    • Pipeline, Eileen Rucinski (Committee Chair)
    • Hiring and Training, Ron Golumbeck (VP and Director HR, ITT Goulds Pumps)
  • 4:40pm Secondary School Perspectives:
    • BOCES, Jo Anne Antonacci (District Superintendent, Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES)
    • Advanced Manufacturing Career Outreach, Bill Rotenberg(AMCN, FLWIB) and Jim VanKouwenberg (Training Mgr, Optimax Systems)
    • FLREDC Middle Skills Leadership Council, Joe Wesley (Director, Wegmans Food Markets, Rochester)
  • 5:00pm Community College Perspectives:
    • Todd Oldham (VP, Economic Development & Innovative Workforce Services – MCC)
    • Dr. Barbara Risser (President – FLCC)
  • 5:20pm Keynote speaker, Mr. Charlie Crumb – CTE
    “Building Business and Education Partnerships”
  • 5:55pm STAR Award Presentation to Dr. Sam Samanta (FLCC)
  • 6:00 – 6:30pm Networking

When deciding K-12 outcomes, employers must be at the table.
OpEd by Mike Mandina, FAME/Optimax Systems


This event was hosted by the Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers’ Enterprise (FAME), Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board (FLWIB), Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Finger Lakes Community College, Genesee Community College, and Monroe Community College.

Thank you to our Premier level event sponsors!

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