Dream It Do It WNY: A Pathway to Manufacturing Careers

In Jamestown, New York, the Dream It, Do It program is changing the way girls see manufacturing – and themselves. Though the third-largest industry sector in Western New York, the manufacturing workforce is only comprised 27% by women. As local employers face a serious worker shortage and skills gap, connecting underrepresented groups to available opportunities is paramount. 

The Girls & Manufacturing program, funded by ARC, increases the participation of girls in programs oriented towards manufacturing careers. Program curricula is designed to help young women to change their view of manufacturing, connect them with strong female role models in the industry, and ultimately help them become part of a skilled workforce pipeline. 

Dream It Do It received more than $100,000 to enable 4,000+ girls from grades K-12 to participate in events and working groups. They have also used that funding to create a curriculum template and program specifics to be shared with other regions of the United States to encourage women to study STEM fields.  

The Girls & Manufacturing program anticipates continued support well into the future from the private sector and local and regional foundations who have expressed interest in inspiring girls to consider careers in advanced manufacturing. 

One private sector partner, President/CEO of SolEpoxy Jeff Belt, joined Stop #1 of ARC’s Appalachia Envisioned Roadshow to discuss strategies for building strong local workforces.  A key part of that is providing the supports that workers need – especially “nontraditional students and workers in a sector, such as young women in manufacturing – to attract and retain that talent.  Watch the video below for more.

ARC is proud to have Dream It, Do It as one of many partners bolstering the Appalachian workforce. Learn more about that investment priority here.