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The manufacturing sector wants more of Western New York’s best and brightest to train for careers at their companies.

To address what it calls “a shortage of talent,” the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership have created the “Dream It, Do It WNY” initiative designed to expose middle and high school students to today’s manufacturing jobs.

The program uses guest speakers, facility tours, learning labs and other activities to try to steer students toward manufacturing careers. It also links manufacturers with schools and government programs to create courses of study that will prepare students for those careers.

The program has already served 4,000 students in Erie and Niagara Counties. It held its first multi-school district event at ECC North this week.