BUSTI - Thanks to the Dream It Do It program, officials at Cummins Engine are starting to lay the groundwork on continuing to have a quality workforce.
On Wednesday, students from Dunkirk High School visited the Cummins plant in Busti as part of the Dream It Do It program, which promotes careers offered in advanced manufacturing. Components of the project have included technology tours of local manufacturing facilities, presentations in high school technology classrooms, the development of internships to place high school students in advanced manufacturing settings and working with Jamestown Community College on robotics and other high-tech projects and events.
At Cummins, Dunkirk students toured the facility for the second time and will continue to visit each month the rest of the school year. On Wednesday, students visited the drafting department and gauging and AMI laboratories.
Students from Dunkirk High School learning about testing parts at Cummins Engine in Busti. The students will visit Cummins monthly as part of the Dream It Do It Program to enhance student knowledge about advanced manufacturing jobs.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
''We knew it was a good opportunity to do a program like this,'' said Angie Peck, Cummins community involvement leader and communications coordinator. ''Not all students want to go to college. Programs like this let them know they have opportunities here for quality jobs where you can grow and receive good benefits.''
Bill Smock, Dunkirk High School teacher, said the program enriches what the students learn in the classroom by witnessing task done in person at a manufacturing plant.
''They learn first hand what to expect. In our case, they get to work on it next to someone that does it for a living,'' he said.
Smock said the program not only helps students, but also helps local manufactures get young people interested in careers at companies like Cummins.
''The program helps create an awareness with the student, so it definitely helps local manufactures,'' he said. ''It gets them interested when they're young in technology.''
Dream It Do It is a national program developed by the Manufacturing Institute, a division of the National Association of Manufacturers. The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier secured a license to implement the program in the county in 2009, and later acquired the statewide license to allow for its expansion.
The program will be expanding thanks to a $500,000 grant received through the state Regional Economic Development Council. The funding is part of the $785 million in economic development spending announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo through the state's Regional Economic Development Councils.
''Dream It Do It was expanded into Cattaraugus and Allegany counties this year. The additional funding will enable expansion into Erie and Niagara counties as well. As part of the expansion, we will implement regional marketing, events and apprenticeship opportunities,'' said Todd Tranum, county chamber and MAST president.
Dave Johnson, county chamber and MAST director of industrial services, was one of the main people responsible for putting together the partnership between Dunkirk High School and Cummins.