Students Explore Manufacturing Jobs at Dream It Do It | News

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OLEAN – More than 750 local middle and high school students had the chance to see and get their hands on what local manufacturers are making in their hometowns at the annual Dream It Do It Western New York Manufacturing and STEM Fair Friday .

After the 2020 and 2021 shows were canceled due to COVID-19, watching teenagers explore the dozens of booths and chat with local industry representatives was an encouraging scene for Evelyn Sabina, Executive Director of DIDI.

“They engaged, they asked questions, they were curious about what was going on,” she said. “It was really exciting to finally see that again.”

Traditionally held at Portville High School, Sabina said the recent spike in COVID-19 cases led to the fair being held in the Olean’s Lincoln Park Farmers’ Market pavilion with support from the city and chamber. of business.

“It was a great opportunity. You have to do what you have to do,” she said. “It was either do it here or don’t do it.”

Sabina said Bradford High School not only brought its STEM students, but others who showed some interest and then had the opportunity to speak with makers and learn about jobs they don’t. might never have known otherwise.

“Everyone really enjoyed it but also gained a lot of insight,” she added. “They see those opportunities, and they see the educational opportunities, and then they realize there’s something for them here in Cattaraugus County.”

At the Dream It Do It 2.0 booth, interns Noah Martin from Bolivar-Richburg and David Ruszkowski from Olean demonstrated some printing machines for other students to see.

“Since we’ve been doing our print tests, which went pretty well, that means these are pretty well priced printers,” Ruszowkis said.

Martin said students can visit a few different colleges that offer engineering opportunities so they can get an idea of ​​where they might want to go after high school.

“There are also a lot of career opportunities and companies here that people who want to become engineers could discover,” he added.

One of the companies present was Eaton, which provides electrical protection equipment to industry. Plant manager John-Paul Kucera showed the students Eaton’s products and what’s inside, likening them to a surge protector, but on a much larger scale.

Kucera said the fair is ideal for students who are unaware of all the STEM opportunities available in the region and gives them an orientation on careers they might want.

“It gives them some appreciation for what’s in their backyard and a bit more comfort in dealing with it,” he said. “It’s not as alien if they can see it, touch it and talk to people who play with it every day.”

Dan Adams, the operations manager at Pierce Steel Fabricators, had a few examples of their custom steel products available to students, ranging from drawings to the final product as well as different materials and welding styles.

“When I was a kid you didn’t have that exposure, so now we give kids a chance to see welding and different products being made or things being tested,” he said. “It gives them options and something to get their hands on. It’s a great program to have.

For college opportunities, the Tech Club at Jamestown Community College set up robots to draw portraits of students who stopped by Friday. Mechanical and Mechatronics Technology Instructor Tim Griffin said they are training students to be ready to work in industrial fields with more manufacturers implementing automation systems.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest from manufacturers and students in this program,” he said. “It helps them with labor issues, but it creates these new jobs for people in industrial maintenance.”

Chris Napoleon, owner of Napoleon Engineering Services, has supported Dream It Do It for many years. He said the fair shows students all the fun and interesting things they can do and what educational pathways there are to lead students into a career in STEM.

“You can see the excitement on their faces when they can see where their path is going. It’s fun to help connect the dots for them,” he said.

Napoleon said that a lot of collaboration was needed between DIDI, municipalities and the Chamber of Commerce for the fair to take place, since many local students are the future of regional companies that have set up a stand in the park.

“Most of us were born and raised here, and it’s the largest pool of candidates for the sustainability of our operations,” he said. “It’s a long-term solution that pays off.”

Participating schools included: Portville, Franklinville, Bradford, Pennsylvania, Cuba-Rushford, Wellsville, Pioneer, Allegany-Limestone, Scio, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Salamanca, Hinsdale, Ellicottville, Portville, Hinsdale, Olean and CA-BOCES.

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