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Record Attendance at Second Annual ROC With Your Hands

Rochester – The Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association (RTMA) in partnership with the City of Rochester, Monroe County, the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program (FLYAP), Monroe Community College (MCC), RochesterWorks, UNiCON Rochester and the Builders Exchange of Rochester hosted the second annual ROC With Your Hands Career Exploration event at the Rochester Community Sports Complex. The event was provided at no cost to the schools and students thanks to the generosity of community partners and donors.

ROC With Your Hands featured more than 70 employers that showcased various careers, offered hands-on demonstrations and provided information on their respective fields. Over 1,400 students in grades seven through 12 across Monroe County, the City of Rochester and the Finger Lakes Region were exposed to careers in advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, automotive technology and heavy equipment. Students, teachers and chaperones were also provided free merchandise and lunch.

The RTMA developed ROC With Your Hands through discussions with area businesses, local educators and community partners alongside FLYAP. The annual career exploration will be offered throughout the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes Region. ROC With Your Hands further supports the RTMA’s mission of promoting manufacturing innovation and growth in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes Region by partnering with industry, academia and government.

ROC With Your Hands is a great opportunity to introduce high school students to great careers in four of the region’s largest industries,” said Bob Coyne, RTMA Executive Director. “Most careers in advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, automotive technology and heavy equipment require paid on-the-job training and educational opportunities while providing a pathway to success and economic independence. ROC With Your Hands allows students, teachers and chaperones to learn more about these high-demand fields.”

The City of Rochester generously hosted ROC With Your Hands at the Rochester Community Sports Complex through its Department of Recreation and Human Services at the Rochester Community Sports Complex. The city is committed to workforce development training and entrepreneurial services.

“The ROC With Your Hands event is the perfect opportunity to inspire young people as they explore a variety of possible career paths,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans. “I am grateful for our partnership with the Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association, which focuses on providing youth with engaging hands-on experiences to help them reach their fullest potential, whether that is through college or university, a vocation, entrepreneurship, or the military service. Youth development and job training remains a priority of my administration as we continue to inspire hope and a build a prosperous future for everyone.”

The County of Monroe Industrial Development Corporation and Monroe County Planning & Development Department also supported ROC With Your Hands. The county coordinates and provides a broad range of job retention and creation programs and employment and training services. It is committed to making the region economically prosperous by ensuring a high quality of life.

“The critical need for skilled trades workers in Monroe County continues to grow, as new economic development projects and modern infrastructure reshape our regional economy. These essential jobs are not only in high demand, but offer competitive compensation and rewarding benefits,” added Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “It is imperative that we inspire the youth in our community to explore careers in the skilled construction trades, advanced manufacturing, and heavy equipment operation sectors. ROC With Your Hands is a fun, creative, and impactful event that introduces Monroe County’s middle and high school students to pathways that can secure their future success and Greater Rochester’s future economic competitiveness. Thank you to our partners at RTMA for including Monroe County in this annual celebration!”

For the past five years, Monroe Community College has partnered with the RTMA on related training and instruction for hundreds of registered apprentices and the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program. MCC also supports ROC With Your Hands through the college’s Economic & Workforce Development Center and Applied Technologies Center. 

“The ROC With Your Hands event is vital to building a stronger talent pipeline in the Greater Rochester region. Providing students the chance to explore career possibilities in advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, and automotive technology is invaluable,” added Dr. DeAnna R. Burt-Nanna, President of Monroe Community College. “Through our partnerships with the Rochester Technology & Manufacturing Association (RTMA), governmental entities, and industry-based organizations, MCC provides an opportunity for the next generation of the technician workforce to have hands-on experience that opens the door to possibilities of rewarding training and careers.”

RochesterWorks also serves on the steering committee for ROC With Your Hands as the community’s Workforce Development Board and American Job Center. RochesterWorks also provides training and employment services to those in the City of Rochester and County of Monroe.

“Our economy cannot prosper unless we harness the potential of every individual in this community to participate in our workforce and earn a livable wage. ROC With Your Hands demonstrates how we can work together to ensure that all youth are exposed to the exciting careers that await them post-high school,” said RochesterWorks Executive Director Dave Seeley. “RochesterWorks is happy to once again partner with the RTMA to help spark an interest in the many opportunities within our manufacturing and construction fields – most of which they can enter into the day they complete high school, if not before.”

UNiCON Rochester and the Builder’s Exchange also assist with the organization of ROC With Your Hands and host similar career exploration events which are supported by the RTMA. Both provide a wide array of services and programs to local construction and union trades while advocating for our community’s economy and workforce.

The Rochester Technology and Manufacturing Association and ROC With Your Hands steering committee would like to thank the event’s partners, sponsors and vendors of the event for allowing the program to be provided to local schools free of charge. Next year’s event will likely be the first Tuesday in October. For more information, visit or contact the RTMA at or (585) 510-6557.

Posted on October 4, 2023. Categorized as .

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