WESTCHESTER, NY: MANUFACTURING HUB MINUTES FROM METROPOLIS
Minutes away from Manhattan sits a robust advanced manufacturing industry where companies of varying specialization and scale continue to find success. Westchester County’s convenient location in this thriving metro offers manufacturers easy access to the Port of New York and New Jersey for shipping, as well as multiple airports and freight rail service. Its prime location also allows companies to attract not only local talent, but talent from neighboring Connecticut and New Jersey who can easily commute to Westchester by train or car. Additionally, more than two dozen higher education institutions and a new advanced manufacturing pre-apprenticeship program, which will launch in January 2022, are helping to maintain a robust and highly skilled talent pipeline for employers to tap.
Westchester’s advanced manufacturing industry is diverse, boasting companies who are manufacturing everything from plastic fluid handling products to self-lubricating machinery components to desktop milling machines used to make printed circuit boards and aluminum parts. And, while some of these companies have called Westchester home for decades, taking advantage of generous IDA benefits to support expansion and/or relocation within the County, others have planted roots in Westchester in recent years. Among the assets drawing these businesses to Westchester are the availability of appropriate real estate, access to qualified talent and robust transportation infrastructure. Not to mention a high quality of life for employees outside of work, thanks in part to 17,000 acres of parkland, vibrant downtowns, walkable communities, expansive arts and culture attractions, and much more.
To ensure the County continues to meet the needs of its existing advanced manufacturing industry, as well as those who are looking to relocate to, and experience the benefits of doing business in Westchester, the Office of Economic Development established an industry taskforce and launched an industry desk in early 2021. The taskforce keeps a pulse on the needs of local and relocating companies, as well as industry trends. The desk provides support to relocating companies, ensuring their entry into the Westchester market is a smooth one and that they are connected to key resources and stakeholders before they even open the doors at their new location.
One of the first projects the Westchester County Office of Economic Development and its advanced manufacturing taskforce tackled this year was expanding the talent pipeline. To ensure companies have access to qualified local talent, The Westchester County Office of Economic Development teamed up with Westchester Community College to develop a pre-apprenticeship program for advanced manufacturing which will launch in January 2022. The program puts individuals with little or no prior manufacturing experience on the path to a highly skilled, well-paying and in-demand career.
The pre-apprenticeship program is a great opportunity for individuals who are interested in technology, open to learning new skills and looking for good jobs that pay well to become candidates for in-demand careers. Manufacturing processes have changed so much over the years—from the integration of robotics to artificial intelligence (AI)—and the pre-apprenticeship provides an introduction to these exciting technologies as well as industry basics.
This new program at Westchester Community College will let participants earn a certification at their own pace and provides education and mentorship. Participants learn skills to create products using computers, robotics, 3D printing and more, as well as master the basics of safety, quality, manufacturing processes and green production. The program also offers opportunities to see first-hand how things work inside some of Westchester’s advanced manufacturing firms. Upon completion, participants will hold a Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) CPT 4.0 Certification.
Whether a firm is looking to relocate its headquarters or scale its existing footprint in the New York Metro, Westchester County has the real estate, talent and infrastructure to support that endeavor.