City To Host Climate Tech Manufacturing Conference

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities announced that manufacturers, entrepreneurs, investors and educators can register for the Retool WNY: Climate Technology Manufacturing Conference.

The conference will take place in Jamestown from Oct. 17-19.

“This conference will bring together experts from around the state and the broader northeast region to discuss this critical emerging sector in the manufacturing environment,” David Leathers, the general manager of the BPU, said.

The BPU hopes the conference will provide participants with the necessary information to develop new opportunities for manufacturing partnerships in the region.

Ellen Ditonto, BPU business development coordinator, said the BPU received a three-year, $750,000 grant through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

“A very big part of that grant is to have a conference on climate technology for manufacturing,” Ditonto said.

“There are certain aggressive targets in the Climate Protection Act that are going to affect our manufacturers as well as our residents,” she said.

However, Ditonto believes the policy changes could be beneficial to the region. “This is a huge opportunity for us to turn around our economy if we are able to get manufacturers to transform their product lines and their thinking so that they know they could become part of that sector.”

The conference has been able to bring together diverse manufacturing organizations and partners, resulting in the formation of the Retool Western New York initiative.

Check-in for the conference will begin on Oct. 17, with activities available from 2-4 p.m. at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel, the Robert H. Jackson Center, and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. The conference will officially begin on Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. at the Northwest Arena.

Panel discussions at the conference will include information on supply chains, financial and technical resources, education and the transportation sector.

Retool WNY will conclude on Oct. 19, with an additional half-day of speakers discussing the challenges facing manufacturers in climate technology, as well as a showcase of electric vehicles.

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Ditonto said the initiative goes beyond the conference.

“The initiative is to help us drive some economic development and some change in the region,” she said.

According to Ditonto, the area, which is commonly referred to as part of the rust belt, has suffered economically for many years.

“We hope to change that,” said Ditonto. “We are retooling and we are building for the future.”

While the conference will primarily be held at Northwest Arena, the city is taking advantage of other locations to display Jamestown to the conference attendees. On Oct. 18, participants will be invited to explore the National Comedy Center and attend a dinner event.

“One of the reasons we are doing it downtown is so we can show off downtown,” Ditonto said.

The conference is hoping to have an attendance of up to 350 people. Details regarding the event’s keynote speakers will be made available to the public in the coming weeks.

Panel discussions at the conference will include information on supply chains, financial and technical resources, education and the transportation sector.

One of the ways Retool WNY is encouraging people to attend is by holding a series of webinars that will take place in advance of the fall conference. Those who attend one of the webinars will have the opportunity to attend the conference for free.

Jamestown Mayor Edward Sundquist has expressed enthusiasm for the event.

“I am thrilled that Jamestown will be hosting the Climate Tech Conference,” he said. “As a city with a proud industrial heritage, Jamestown is well positioned to be a leader in manufacturing for the green economy, both through our existing and new businesses. I thank all the event sponsors and welcome this exciting economic development opportunity to Jamestown.”


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