Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise (FAME) Annual Report

News Date: 



Annual report to the Finger Lakes Regional

Industrial Development Agencies

(Ontario, Seneca and Wayne Counties)



Submitted: January 2012

For the period covering January 2011 through December 2011.







The Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers’ Enterprise (FAME) was very fortunate to receive funding for its 2011 facilitation efforts from the following Finger Lakes regional counties:  Ontario and Seneca.  Wayne County joined FAME separately in April 2011 as a Founder level member under the current member dues schedule.  As a result of the Finger Lakes IDA funding, FAME was able to continue supporting its efforts towards the following three strategic priorities for advanced manufacturing in the region:

Priority #1:

Improve collaboration with workforce educators and help advanced manufacturing companies recruit, hire and train skilled workers.

  • Collaborate on curriculum development and worker training, focusing on the adaptability and retraining of our existing workforce.
  • Help determine the need for new certificate programs at FLCC and MCC.
  • Expand course offerings and curriculum at FLCC and MCC.
  • Engage students in careers through on-site work opportunities and facility tours.

Priority #2:

Build a pipeline of skilled qualified advanced manufacturing candidates, by engaging youth in pursuing manufacturing careers.

  • Engage K-12 students in potential career paths through on-site work opportunities, facility tours and guest speaker activities.
  • Promote internships and job shadows with companies.
  • Work with community colleges and community organizations to engage students in tours and internships.
  • Determine grant funds available to companies for help in hosting/funding internship opportunities and special student initiatives.

Priority #3:

Raise awareness about the importance of and opportunities in advanced manufacturing.

  • Conduct outreach in the community by sponsoring and hosting networking events.
  • Create educational tools and information to support the advanced manufacturing sector.
  • Engage area educators in the potential of advanced manufacturing as a career path and the need to foster development of ‘middle skills’ in future workers.

In pursuit of these goals, FAME has continued to build upon the material and information provided on our website (, and has established group pages on both LinkedIn (target audience – AM and workforce professionals) and Facebook (target audience – youth).  FAME continues to publish bi-monthly newsletters with pertinent information, and hold committee meetings of its two core groups: Hiring & Training and Pipeline. 

FAME’s 2009 transition from free to fee membership has yielded 51 paying members of FAME over the course of 2010 and 2011.  These formal members have joined at various levels depending upon commitment level, business segment and company size, and reside primarily in the Finger Lakes and Monroe Counties.  FAME continues to promote membership opportunities, and partnered with area Chambers of Commerce (Canandaigua, Geneva, Seneca County, Victor, and Wayne County) in 2011 to provide membership incentives to those companies that are members of (or joining) both organizations. 

Educational Collaboration and Workforce Development Efforts 

FAME continues to work with Finger Lakes Community College to develop new degree programs and class offerings for technology students.  This collaboration effort has yielded two new program offerings at FLCC that are currently enrolling students: Instrumentation and Control Technologies ( and Cleanroom Operating Training Program (

In 2011, FAME continued its Industry/Academia Roundtable efforts with events at Monroe Community College (March 2011), Genesee Community College (April 2011) and Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES (May 2011).  These efforts brought together educators from FLCC, MCC, GCC and BOCES with advanced manufacturing executives to determine the needs and requirements for future workers in their businesses and industries. 

FAME continues to engage education professionals at the middle and high school levels by touring educator and counselor groups through various advanced manufacturing member facilities.  FAME’s Facilitator coordinated efforts for these outreach efforts, and serves as the first point of contact for both school districts and industry members looking for assistance and collaborative opportunities.  FAME’s November 2011 signature event “Creating an Economy that Works! Job Creation and Our Region’s Future” was attended by a large number of area educators – accounting for nearly 35% of the audience in attendance.

Significant outreach efforts in 2011 include coordination, facilitation and tracking of the following:

  • Tours of Gorbel, GW Lisk Co., Harbec Plastics, ITT Goulds Pumps, Optimax Systems Inc., STC-MEMS/Infotonics, and Sydor Optics by various student technology groups (BOCES and local high schools).
  • Sixteen FAME member companies employed over 70 summer interns in 2011.  Ranging in fields from engineering, assembly, IT, quality, tool crib technicians, HVAC and parts washers to marketing, purchasing and supply chain efforts—these companies have truly brought a focus and exposure to the field of advanced manufacturing through their efforts to expose youth to future career paths.  Representing a combination of high school and college students, many of these interns will have future employment opportunities at these same facilities.  FAME members participating in this effort included: Advantage Manufacturing, Chapin International Inc., Coach & Equipment, CooperVision Inc., Corning Tropel, Gorbel, GW Lisk, Halco, Harbec Plastics, IEC Electronics, ITT Goulds Pumps, Optimax Systems Inc., OptiPro Systems Inc., QED Technologies, Ultralife Corp., and Unique Automation.
  • Participation in career fairs and job fairs for various audiences, including Geneva CSD Career Fair, MCC’s High Tech Career Expo, 13th Annual Finger Lakes Spring Job Fair, FLCC’s ICT Panel Event, WFL BOCES Career Fair, MCC’s Optics Summer Sizzler Camp, Finger Lakes Works Fall Job Fair, Digital Rochester’s “Get Connected” Event, the 2011 ‘Finger Lakes Works … With Their Hands!’ event, and MCC’s Precision Machining Open House.
  • FAME representation at industry and community economic events including: Manufacturing Day in Albany (Feb 2011), WDI Conference on NY’s Manufacturing Sector (Nov 2011), and FAME member inclusion on various subpanels of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council effort under Governor Cuomo’s initiative.
  • As an initiative of FAME’s worker Pipeline activity, four Finger Lakes middle school teams were sponsored for participation in the Fall 2011 US FIRST LEGO League “Food Factor” competition.  FAME member companies participating included:  Coach & Equipment Co., Gorbel Inc., GW Lisk Co., Harbec Plastics, IEC Electronics, ITT Goulds Pumps, Optimax Systems, and OptiPro Systems.  Teams from Canandaigua Middle School, Manchester-Shortsville Central (Red Jacket Middle School), Victor Junior High School and Wayne Central (Ontario Elementary School) all received FAME member sponsorship this season. The CMS (Canandaigua Middle School) Robotics team, the Legoinators, received the Judge's Award at the Qualifying Competition on November 19th at Pal-Mac High School. This same group of talented students went on to win the Inspiration Trophy at the December 4th Regional Championship Tournament held at the University of Rochester. The Inspiration Trophy celebrates a team that is empowered by their FLL experience, and displays extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit.

Promotion of Opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing

FAME actively promotes the Advanced Manufacturing industry as a high tech, clean environment with opportunities for advancement and growth.  Towards this end, FAME has tailored its approach to students, their parents, and education professionals to represent future careers involving computer control, engineering skills, and technical expertise.  FAME’s website and Facebook page are ever-changing attempts to engage youth in the opportunities available, by showing them virtual future career environments and opportunities for educational advancement on a number of levels, while providing this information in real time at their fingertips. 

FAME’s 2011 Signature Event at Monroe Community College, “Creating an Economy that Works! Job Creation and Our Region’s Future”, featured a speaker from the McKinsey Global Institute.  This event was attended by over 120 industry and academic representatives, and prompted discussions at all levels about the need to better prepare today’s students for the challenges and opportunities in future career paths. 

FAME has also increased its participation and partnering efforts in 2011 with the RTMA (Rochester Tooling and Manufacturing Assn) and RRPC (Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster).  In partnership with MCC’s increased focus on workforce and economic development, FAME has found a new opportunity for furthering its impact on the region’s youth.


The support from the Finger Lakes counties in 2011 has been instrumental in allowing FAME to continue its outreach and advancement efforts in the advanced manufacturing sector.  Without the coordination activities enabled by the funding of FAME’s Facilitator via these funds, FAME’s efforts in the Finger Lakes region would have slowed considerably. 

FAME’s Facilitator coordinated industry/education outreach efforts, facility tours and committee logistics (Hiring & Training, HR Networking, Pipeline and Executive level), maintained the FAME website content and collateral materials, and sought out industry sponsorship/support opportunities for Finger Lakes LEGO teams.  She coordinated FAME’s November 2011 advanced manufacturing industry Signature Event, tracked FAME’s impact on the Finger Lakes region, compiled and distributed the FAME e-Newsletter, and has been the point of contact for FAME membership information, invoicing and welcome letters to joining members.  FAME hopes to continue its important work in 2012 and 2013, until it reaches the point of sustainability of its efforts through membership dues.  We appreciate your continued support.