Finger Lakes Features: Joseph Dean, on Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways

FLWIB Executive Director Karen Springmeier and Joseph Dean at FAME’s annual event, hosted by MCC on April 30th

Advanced manufacturing is the practical application of science and technology. Companies have outgrown their pools of skilled workers, and are eagerly recruiting to train and fill these positions. There are a variety of post-secondary education programs available, which provide candidates the opportunity to acquire a real salary, gain on-the-job experience and earn a college degree. This is a risk-free stepping stone, which is applicable to many different career paths – even those beyond manufacturing.

I first learned about manufacturing at Monroe Community College. Through MCC and the NY Inspire Grant, I was able to complete the Precision Machining Certificate Program and receive entry level tools of the trade, all free of charge. The learning environment was truly immersive and laid a strong foundation with which I could enter the job market. While I was attending school, I began working part-time at Micro Instrument Corp, and was offered a full-time position upon graduation. In just six months, I was able to go from having no manufacturing experience to starting a new career.

I am a second-year tool maker’s apprentice at Micro Instrument Corp. My department specializes in low volume precision machining. I am given blueprints and models to use in order to manufacture parts to customer’s specifications. The planning and execution are left up to me, allowing me to incorporate my own creative process into each part. It is easy to compare this work to a game of chess, every move must be strategized, every move plays into a win or loss. I feel a strong emotional connection to the success or failure of each part I make.

I had initially pictured vocational training to provide a stable, but modest career path. On the contrary, Micro and the NYS Apprenticeship Program are strong advocates for higher education and are consistently pushing me to pursue my interests. I truly feel like I am at the beginning of my career. I am happy to have made this decision and encourage more to do the same.

Joseph Dean,
Second-year tool maker’s apprentice at Micro Instrument Corp.

Meeting of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board

41 Lewis Street, Suite 104 Phone: (315) 789-3131
Geneva, NY 14456 Fax: (315) 789-0163
May 15, 2019
Contact: Jennifer May
Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board

Meeting Notice:

The Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board, Inc.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Time: 8:30 – 10:00 am
Ramada Geneva Lakefront
41 Lakefront Dr., Geneva, NY

For more information please call, 315-789-3131 ext 101.

The mission of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board is to improve the economic well-being of job seekers and employees in the Finger Lakes region. The goal of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board is to increase the employment, retention, and earnings of participants, increase occupational skill attainment by participants; and, as a result, improve the quality of the workforce; reduce welfare dependency; and enhance the productivity and competitiveness of the region.

Finger Lakes Features: John Mueller Recipient of Midlakes Graduates of Distinction

Mr. John Mueller, co-owner of Willow Bend Farms and past Chair of FLWIB

Beginning in March 2016, the Midlakes Graduates of Distinction Committee have chosen alumni of Midlakes High school who have “achieved distinction through outstanding accomplishments or lifetime achievements and sharing these with the collective community” (Graduates of Distinction,, 2019) to receive this accolade.  Mr. John Mueller, co-owner of Willow Bend Farms and past Chair of the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board, Inc., has been named as a 2019 recipient.

Along with his leadership role in the FLWIB, Mr. Mueller has served on Dairy Promotion boards, as the past president of Ontario County Farm Bureau and currently serves as Chair of Trustees for the United Methodist Church of Clifton Springs.  Mr. Mueller is also a member of the Farm Credit Customer Service Council and Cornell University Agriculture Advisory Board, all while growing Willow Bend Farms, which has been owned and operated by the Mueller family since 1960.

The Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board would like to thank Mr. Mueller for his guidance as past chair, past vice chair and member of the Executive and Performance and Evaluation committees – along with his invaluable donations of time and milk to the advanced manufacturing and skilled trades career exploration event, “Finger Lakes Works…with their hands!”.  Congratulations, Mr. Mueller!

Finishing Trades Institute of W & CNY – Apprenticeships

DC4 is now accepting applications for apprenticeships in Painting, Drywall Finishing and Glazing. The Drywall Finishing program concludes after 3 years and the Painting and Glazing after 4 years.

Driver’s license
Glazier – HS Diploma or GED

All interested applicants should contact Apprentice and Training Coordinator Mike Fitzgerald, or (585)770-0190

Finger Lakes Features: “Serving Community Healthcare in the Finger Lakes”


The eighth annual career exploration program coordinated by the Healthcare Alliance of the Finger Lakes and the Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board was held March 19th at Finger Lakes Community College’s Canandaigua Campus and saw 200 high school students from 16 local school districts.

“This event enables students to learn firsthand about well paying, middle–skilled jobs that are right in our back-yard” says Recruiter/Generalist for Thompson Health Sue Kirkwood. “We are trying to educate students, teachers and parents now so that there is a ‘pipe-line’ of talented workers in the future” says Kirkwood. According to the New York State Department of Labor the fastest growing jobs in the region include jobs from healthcare and social services. These jobs often require certificates, licensing or two year degrees and offer good salaries and benefits.

Students attending were able to participate in activities and presentations from area employers and training providers while learning about educational qualifications, salaries and specific job duties. Employer representatives from Finger Lakes Health, Thompson Health, Littlejohn Orthodontics, and the YMCA presented information on everything from what it is like to be a Physical Therapist to requirements for working in the field of orthodontics. Instructors from Finger Lakes Community College, Rochester Educational Opportunity Center and Rochester Institute of Technology, provided hands on activities related to careers in Massage Therapy, Nursing, Exercise Science, “Participation from members of the industry really highlights the need for a skilled workforce in the future,” says Kirkwood. “We are hopeful that some of the students attending this year may become the healthcare professionals participating in following years.”