JAMESTOWN – Congressman Tom Reed’s Friday consisted of visits to various manufacturing sites across the district, including Jamestown Community College’s Manufacturing Technology Institute (JCC MTI) on Falconer Street later in the afternoon.
WNYNewsNow interviewed Reed one-on-one following a tour of the institute, which consisted of several students, teachers and administrators. Reed said that manufacturing needs more promotion here in Chautauqua County and throughout the district.
“Today is about promoting manufacturing, and the opportunities in manufacturing, and the advanced manufacturing needs in the community,” Reed said. “(We are highlighting), to me, what huge opportunities we have (in manufacturing) right here in our backyard….You have opportunities galore. If people are willing to roll up their slaves, commit to gaining this skill set, I’m going to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them and say, these are great careers, great opportunities, and it’s something we need to promote more of.”
In addition to the JCC MTI visit, Reed also visited Chautauqua Lake Central School’s manufacturing club and an Ellicottville manufacturing business. Reed said his biggest takeaway was the observation of the “rich legacy” that the manufacturing industry provides.
“The rich amount of the legacy of manufacturing in our back yard, and the innovation that comes with it, and the higher math and the higher skills,” Reed said. “Every time I come to one of these programs, to see the excitement that it brings to these men and women, is something that can’t be lost. It’s not just about a paycheck, but they’re actually making something. They’re getting their hands dirty.”
“I’m proud to promote that because that’s the dignity of work that comes with it. What we see here is exciting developments in resources and opportunities that we want to promote, and also to be a resource to connect.”
When asked what Reed’s office can do to further enhance manufacturing throughout the district, Reed said that he can help facilitate connections between businesses and groups of people.
“First and foremost, I think what we can offer is connecting the networks of folks and employers that may be generous with their resources, with their time and with their equipment,” Reed said. “From a policy perspective, there are a lot of programs, like the scholarship program here, making sure the young men and women, and those going back for re-training, have access to those resources, to those programs, at the Federal level.”
“Also, one of the things I heard loud and clear is to give these guys the flexibility to innovate, to be able to cross jurisdictions so that they can work together on a regional type basis and not have bureaucratic barriers preventing them from growing and developing this opportunity that we see.”