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DUNKIRK – A new partnership between the economic development committee of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Coalition Education group was announced Friday.

The STEM group promotes high school and college student skills that will benefit local industry and receives grant funding from the Cummins Foundation of Jamestown. It works with the Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier to identify qualities needed for employees in high-tech and manufacturing industries in Chautauqua County.

STEM spokesmen said that 19 percent of all jobs in Chautauqua County are in manufacturing industries. They said the county added 1,700 jobs in the manufacturing trades since 2009.

New training programs are currently being targeted by the partnership to help students develop skills and be prepared to enter the local workforce.

Jay Warren, chairman of the local economic development committee, said the new partnership is “a positive move with great potential.” He said he expects that the new training programs will be formed soon and the opportunities will be announced to students at high school and college levels.

The members of the partnership will be forming a task force to identify skills with employers in Chautauqua County. Local employers interested in providing information to the group can contact Warren through the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation offices at 366-4892.