Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The old New Venture Gear auto parts factory in suburban Syracuse could have a new tenant much quicker than county economic development officials expected.

A newly formed company called American Intermodal Container Manufacturing Inc. wants to use about half of the large factory to make shipping containers.

New Venture Gear concluded a long shutdown of its DeWitt plant in August. It once employed 4,000 people making parts for SUVs.

Kate O'Connell / WXXI

Last year the US Department of Labor awarded more than $14-million to the SUNY network of community colleges in upstate New York to develop work training programs for emerging industries. But, nearly one year on, the advanced manufacturing sector is asking for more pointing to the skills gap as an ongoing issue.

Eric Roth is one of fifteen students in the commencing class of an intensive course aimed at combating the growing thirst for workers.

Ashley Hassett/WBFO

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council says it will invest some of the 'Buffalo Billion' into strengthening the regional advanced manufacturing workforce.

The council plans to partner manufacturing organizations with Erie Community College and other vocational schools to create a workforce training center. The funds will also help the state Department of Labor hire a 'skills broker' who will be in charge of helping manufacturers find people specifically qualified for the open high-skill positions.

Charter School for Applied Technologies

A new program aims to promote high-tech manufacturing careers in high schools across Western New York.  Dream it, Do it WNY educates high school students about the broad range of  careers available in the industry.

SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury and the Board of Cooperative Educational Services, or BOCES, serving the surrounding counties are partnering on a new science and technology program for high school students.

The two year program would allow high school juniors and seniors to take classes at the SUNY Adirondack campus for college credit – and to prepare for careers in manufacturing.