Monthly Archives: February 2014



GENEVA, NEW YORK – The Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board (FL WIB), Inc. announced today that Hipshot Products is February’s “Business of the Month” recognizing the company’s efforts to build strong community partnerships along with their continuing contributions to the local economy.

Hipshot Products, located in Interlaken, NY is one of the last remaining companies that designs and manufactures guitar hardware in the USA. Founded in 1983 by Dave Borisoff and Bob Borisoff (Dave’s dad), the company moved from California to the Finger Lakes in 1994. Over the years the business has grown into a company that ships parts all over the world including France, Italy, Germany, and Japan and employs a workforce of 28.

Jason Ungleich, General Manager at Hipshot, Dave Borisoff, Founder of Hipshot, and Josh Borisoff, Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Hipshot accepting their award!

Jason Ungleich, General Manager at Hipshot, Dave Borisoff, Founder of Hipshot, and Josh Borisoff, Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Hipshot accepting their award!

To develop their workforce, Dave often relies on the business services offered through Finger Lakes Works including Job Bank Posting, On the Job Training, and tax incentives. He has also developed partnerships with community agencies that include ACCES-VR and Seneca-Cayuga ARC.  As a result of these partnership Hipshot is a past recipient the National Disability Employment Awareness Month Award for Regional Employers.

“The FLWIB is pleased to recognize Hipshot Products for their partnerships with the community organizations in an effort to grow their workforce and for their commitment to Seneca County” said Karen Springmeier, Executive Director, Finger Lakes WIB said.

For more information on Hipshot Products, please visit their website at:

Spotlight On…


Our own Mike Mandina, President of Optimax, FLWIB member and Chair of FAME introduced Vice President Joe Biden at MCC on Wednesday! Mike was invited to speak about his company, industry and education partnerships. Proof that our Finger Lakes Works “Skills2Compete” Middle Skills Campaign is gaining national attention!  Mike is also a member of the Nationals Skills Coalition Business Leaders United(BLU) group and he will be traveling to the White House tomorrow, January 31, 2014, to address the long term unemployed and middle skills gap.


A little more about Mike…Mike Mandina is a master optician and entrepreneur. After starting two manufacturing businesses providing precision optics to photonics companies, Mike joined Optimax in 1991.

He serves the local community and global industry through his guidance in organizations like the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster, the NYS Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board and the High Tech of Rochester’s Manufacturers Extension Partnership. Mike was instrumental in the development of FAME (Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturer’s Enterprise), a non-profit organization committed to workforce development, where he currently serves as chairperson. He is also involved in steering the MCC Optics Department Advisory Board Hiring Committee, the WIRED: Finger Lakes Partnership Governing Board and the Rochester Regional Economic Council’s Photonics Work Group.

In addition, Mike has received numerous honors and awards over the years for his leadership and industry success, including finalist for Rochester’s Small business person of the year, NYS Business Hall of Fame inductee, Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster Entrepreneurship award and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) New York State Small Business Person of the Year award.

He holds associate degrees in optical engineering technology and engineering science from Monroe Community College and a bachelor’s degree in applied physics from Empire State College, as well as an Executive MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

VP and Mike


The Vice President noted that FAME is the type of partnership model he wants to look at as part of his cross-agency reform effort.


Precision Machining Program highlighted during Vice President Biden’s visit to M.C.C.

While covering Vice President Biden’s visit to the MCC Applied Technology Center, WHAM 13 interviewed Steven Tomeno, a student enrolled in the Precision Machining Program through the Advanced Manufacturing Career Pathways (H-1B) Grant.

Biden visits MCC, interview with Grant Recipient!