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New Program Provides Incentives to Schools Offering Credentials

December 20, 2019

This week, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and the Ohio Department of Education announced the list of industry-recognized credentials eligible for $34 million under the state’s new Innovative Workforce Incentive Program. The objective is to create more opportunities for students to earn in-demand, industry-recognized credentials — including in manufacturing.

The program provides $9 million in grants to assist schools in establishing credential programs to prepare students for careers in priority industry sectors. Schools are also eligible to receive a share of $25 million to encourage the start of additional credentials. Under this program, schools can receive $1,250 for each qualifying credential earned by students.12/19/2019

Webinar: How to Apply for TechCred

December 20, 2019

Last week, we reported that manufacturers will soon have another chance to apply for state funding to upskill their employees under Ohio’s new TechCred program. The next application period opens Jan. 2, 2020.

Several manufacturers still have questions about TechCred. That’s why the OMA will host a Jan. 8 webinar detailing the program’s benefits, operations, and how to apply for funding. There’s no charge for OMA members. 12/16/2019

Host a Teacher at Your Manufacturing Site

December 20, 2019

The Ohio STEM Learning Network is recruiting businesses to host K-12 teachers for its Manufacturing and Engineering Externship Program (MEEP). Under the program, a select group of Ohio educators will learn about problem-based learning, complete an externship in a local STEM industry, and create a new lesson for their classroom.

This is a short-term commitment; businesses will host one or two local educators onsite for three to five days this summer. It’s also an excellent opportunity for manufacturers to collaborate with teachers to address local workforce challenges. Learn more here. 12/16/2019

Facility Tours Generate More Interest in Manufacturing

December 20, 2019

To address workforce challenges, Cleveland-based Lincoln Electric has developed an extensive tour program that gives 4,000 to 6,000 people annually a firsthand look at today’s high-tech manufacturing environment. The tour program is profiled in this latest case study of innovations that are growing Ohio’s manufacturing pipeline. Read all of them on OMA’s Making Ohio website. 12/16/2019

New Application Period for TechCred Begins Jan. 2

December 13, 2019

Manufacturers who are interested in taking part in Ohio’s new TechCred program have another chance to apply for funding to upskill employees. The next online application period opens Jan. 2, 2020 and ends Jan. 31, 2020.

TechCred is Ohio’s innovative workforce program that reimburses employers up to $2,000 for each current or new employee who earns an industry-recognized, technology-focused credential. Employers can receive up to a total of $30,000 per funding round. Apply at

The OMA was recently involved in the effort to expand the list of TechCred credentials, which now sits at 379. New credentials include fields such as additive manufacturing and welding certification. Employers can request that unlisted credentials be added by submitting a TechCred application. Credentials will be considered by a panel of experts as each application is reviewed.

Here is a more detailed explanation.12/10/2019

Workforce Bill Finally Clears Final Legislative Hurdles

December 13, 2019

This week, the Ohio lawmakers approved the conference committee report on House Bill 2, clearing the legislation’s final hurdle before implementation of the statewide industry sector partnership grant program.

The bill, which has had hearings since it was introduced during the budget process, saw its progress delayed this fall due to disagreements over the Individual Micro-Credential Assistance Program. That program — geared directly towards individuals and not companies — faced an uncertain future due to concerns about its implementation. Lawmakers were able to rectify those differences, while also protecting the language and funding for both Ohio TechCred and the very important industry sector partnership grants.

Look for the industry sector grant partnership applications to be available in early 2020. 12/12/2019

In-Demand Jobs List Gets an Update

December 13, 2019

This week, Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the launch of Ohio’s updated In-Demand Jobs List. The list was created using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, projections from JobsOhio, job posting trends, and survey responses submitted by Ohio businesses.

An “in-demand job” in Ohio is defined as one that:

  • pays at least 80% of the state median wage ($14.10 or more per hour); and
  • has an annual growth in the number of jobs higher than the statewide average of 36 or annual job openings greater than 584.

Meanwhile, InnovateOhio — the DeWine-Husted administration’s initiative to expand technology and promote entrepreneurship statewide — has integrated the In-Demand Jobs List as part of its online tools at to help students, workers, guidance counselors, and other users to make well-informed career decisions. 12/10/2019

U.S. Manufacturing Jobs Get Boost in November

December 13, 2019

Last Friday’s U.S. Department of Labor report indicated that U.S. employers added an impressive 266,000 jobs in November — and 54,000 of those jobs were in manufacturing. News reports pointed out that the number was likely inflated due to the return of striking GM workers, as vehicle and parts production alone added 41,000 jobs.

Here are the latest Ohio manufacturing jobs data. 12/9/2019

TechCred Adds 219 More Credentials

December 6, 2019

It was announced this week that 219 additional credentials have been approved for inclusion and potential funding through Ohio’s new TechCred program, including new credentials tied to manufacturing.

TechCred aims to boost Ohio’s skilled workforce by reimbursing employers who help current or new employees earn industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials. The program asks employers to identify the specific qualifications they need, as well as the employees they want to upskill. In partnership with a training provider, employers can apply at and the state will reimburse up to $2,000 of training costs per employee.

TechCred was launched earlier this fall with 160 pre-approved credentials. With the new additions, there are now 379 approved credentials for upcoming funding rounds. We’ll let you know when 2020 funding becomes available. 12/3/2019

Ohio’s Chemical, Energy Cluster Faces Aging Workforce

December 6, 2019

More than 91,000 Ohioans work in the energy and chemicals industry cluster, according to a new report from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Service. The cluster is comprised of 12 industries or sub-sectors, including basic chemical manufacturing; resin, synthetic rubber, and artificial fibers manufacturing; agricultural chemical manufacturing; and paint, coating, and adhesive manufacturing.

Roughly 50% of energy and chemical workers are age 45 or older, compared to 44% of all Ohio workers. Businesses in this cluster may need to replace retiring workers sooner than businesses in other industries, the report concludes. 12/4/2019