March 6 2018

CEG Partners with MACNY to Create Capital Region’s First Intermediary Apprenticeship Program

Program prepares region’s thriving manufacturing sector for next generation of workers

With thousands of workers in the Capital Region’s manufacturing sector approaching or already beyond retirement age, the Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is partnering with the Manufacturers Association of New York (MACNY) to counter the wider skills gap that this trend threatens by creating the area’s first intermediary apprenticeship program. The CEG-MACNY Manufacturing Intermediary  Apprenticeship Program (MIAP) is designed to assist manufacturers throughout the eight-county region in training workers for high-skill trades, many of which will be or already are being vacated by retiring workers.

CEG’s Capital Region program is modeled after MACNY’s MIAP in Central New York. Under the program, CEG will serve as the intermediary between participating companies and the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), which regulates apprenticeships statewide. CEG will offer the intermediary services free-of-charge. On Tuesday, March 13, CEG will host an Apprenticeship Informational Session at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center. Interested employers are invited to attend. Staff from CEG, MACNY and DOL will all be in attendance to review the program and answer any questions.

“The apprenticeship programs that trained the current manufacturing workforce are not being utilized as efficiently for the next generation of workers. Opportunities are fewer and harder to come by. That puts small to mid-sized manufacturers at a tremendous disadvantage because it is just too burdensome for many of them to take on apprentices by themselves, but by not doing so they also endanger their talent pipeline. The CEG-MACNY MIAP will ease the burden for manufacturers and keep the talent flowing in the Capital Region,” said CEG President and CEO Andrew Kennedy.

“The last two years have provided us with the opportunity to build the foundation of the MIAP apprenticeship program in our pilot in Central New York and incrementally take the program statewide,” said MACNY President and CEO Randy Wolken. “Now, we are thrilled with our newest MIAP partner CEG. We have worked with CEG for years within the Manufacturers Alliance. Together we have been supporting a strong statewide business climate to help manufacturers thrive. Our MIAP partnership will help do just that – rolling out the program to deserving Capital Region manufacturers and helping them grow their workforce through skilled trades.”

Administrative Relief

CEG expects to start placing apprenticeships by the summer of 2018. As the program’s sponsoring entity, CEG will be responsible for apprentices over the course of their training periods. Most apprenticeship programs are a duration of four years. During that period, apprentices will undergo 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and 144 hours of related instruction per year. CEG’s support – provided at no cost to the employer or employee – will include managing the records and reporting that is required by DOL, as well as organizing each apprentice’s outside coursework. This will relieve manufactures and workers of the administrative burdens that have made such apprenticeships prohibitive for them and resulted in a widening skill gap in the region. While large manufacturers have the resources to run apprenticeship programs, small manufacturers (<50 employees), which accounted for 86.7 percent of the sector in the Capital Region in 2015, usually do not.

Looming Retirements

Unlike the majority of Northeast metros, the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has experienced a manufacturing boom over the past several years, fueled in part by companies such as GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Forbes last year named the area the nation’s seventh most thriving manufacturing city. Employment in the sector grew by 15.7 percent during the five-year period ending in 2016, compared to the national growth rate of 3.3 percent and the state’s rate of -2 percent, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Threatening the sector’s sustained growth in the area is the looming retirement of a sizeable portion of its workforce. In 2017, 23.3 percent of manufacturing workers in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy MSA were 55 years old or older, compared to 15.1 percent fifteen years earlier. During that period, the sector’s ranks of workers at least 65 years old has climbed to 3.5 percent from 2 percent, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s QWI Explorer.

Pathways to Higher Pay

For manufacturers, the CEG-MACNY MIAP provides a means for a stable and growing workforce, but for apprentices it means a pathway to higher paying jobs. For example, whereas entry-level machinists in the Capital Region on average earn $32,760, people more experienced in that trade on average earn $55,710 – a 70.1 percent difference, according to DOL statistics. The change in average wages between entry and experienced positions can be as high as 108.4 percent for electricians and 52.4 percent for millwrights, both of which are trades CEG is considering recommending for the program.

For additional information or to talk to CEG President and CEO Andrew Kennedy, please contact CEG Director of Research and Communications James Schlett at 518-465-8975 X221 or

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