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Tranum Speaks To Greater Jamestown Rotary About Dream It, Do It

Todd Tranum, Manufacturers’ Association of the Southern Tier executive director, is pictured with Ruth Lundin of the Jamestown Noon Rotary Club.

Todd Tranum, executive director of the Manufacturers’ Association of the Southern Tier, spoke recently to the Jamestown Noon Rotary Club members about the Dream It, Do It (DIDI) initiative.

A local native, Tranum graduated with a bachelor’s in political science from the State University at Fredonia and a master’s in business administration from Penn State University/Behrend College. He has completed training in Six Sigma through Cummins Inc. Tranum started with MAST in 1999 and added the post of President/CEO of the Chautauqua County of Commerce in 2008. In 2021, he retired from the chamber and continued his work with MAST, where he is president of Dream It, Do It Western New York.

In his various capacities, Tranum and MAST partnered with Jamestown Community College in the start-up of the Manufacturing Technology Institute where individuals can be trained in advanced technology. He helped launch the Chautauqua County Education Coalition. In 2013, Tranum assembled a team that brought the Outdoor Channel to Chautauqua County with a Major League Fishing tournament on Chautauqua Lake. He helped bring the Small Business Revolution, a documentary series on TV, to Fredonia.

Dream It Do It was launched in Chautauqua County by MAST in 2009 to encourage students in the region to consider careers in manufacturing to develop a stronger pipeline of talent. The program has expanded into Cattaraugus County and is currently expanding into Erie and Niagara counties.

Tranum said there is an excess of manufacturing jobs open in the community and that more trained industrial employees are needed to satisfy that gap. Nationally, he said, 4 million manufacturing employees will be needed in the next decade and that 2.5 million jobs will go unfilled. That’s why it’s necessary to build the county’s manufacturing pipeline.

According to Tranum, an estimated $5 billion worth of products leave Chautauqua County each year and more could be available if we had more manufacturing employees. Dream It, Do It is revamping itself, targeting middle school and high school students who can earn badges electronically in the program. They can earn badges by attending Dream It, Do It events, getting work experience, attending DIDI activities, training and more.

Students can participate in events such as Stem Wars, a summer weeklong camp and going on manufacturers’ tours. Their badges can then make them eligible for yellow, green, black and master black belts as they build portfolios for when they enter the workforce. About 187 students are actual students involved in the DIDI Advanced Manufacturing Program and 12 have earned belts.

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