Two non-profit organizations that represent local manufacturers are joining forces.
The Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance and the Greater Niagara Manufacturers Association will merge their organizations, the groups said.
The move will help “strengthen the voice of manufacturing” in the Buffalo Niagara region, according to Peter Coleman, executive director of the BNMA and CEO of Green Buffalo Fuel. BNMA and GNMA will be folded into one organization and go forward under the BNMA banner.
The BNMA board will gain two members from GNMA. The organization will also form a Niagara County sub-committee to give special focus to issues there. The BNMA at large will deal with issues affecting its entire membership area but will also have special programming and meetings in Niagara County.
The merger was approved unanimously last month at a meeting of GNMA members. GNMA’s member roster includes DuPont, Praxair, National Fuel and National Grid. BNMA has about 170 members, including Bak USA, WNY STEM Hub and The Buffalo News. The addition of GNMA’s members will bring that total to just under 200.
The process of combining the two organizations will take place over the next six months. The two groups have long collaborated on manufacturing issues and had been discussing the merger for a while. It was a natural choice because they have the same mission, said Gregg Eagan, GNMA president and Director of Manufacturing at Niacet Corp.
The BNMA started as the National Tooling & Machining Association Buffalo Chapter in the 1940s. It became the BNMA in 2010. It works to influence local public policy, raise awareness about the manufacturing industry, help secure collective buying prices and provide training. Its members are mostly local manufacturing companies and companies that support the manufacturing industry.
Its main focus now is on addressing the skills gap, helping train and educate workers for the kinds of positions available in the modern manufacturing industry. To that end, it will soon release a skills certification system with Dream It Do It Western New York.