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DeWine Picks Steve Dackin to Lead K-12 Education

November 10, 2023

Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that Steve Dackin, former member of the State Board of Education and previous candidate for state superintendent, will be the director of the newly created Department of Education and Workforce (DEW).

The OMA issued this statement, commending the governor’s selection and the administration’s “focused, timely implementation” of the law (House Bill 33) to improve Ohio’s K-12 system. 11/9/2023

Hundreds Attend OMA Workforce Summit

November 10, 2023

More than 400 manufacturers, workforce experts, policymakers, and others packed the Quest Conference Center in Westerville to attend the 2023 Ohio Manufacturers’ Workforce Summit on Nov. 8. See this photo recap of the event.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted kicked off the summit by highlighting Ohio’s workforce leadership and innovation. Keynote speaker Professor Joseph Fuller of Harvard Business School provided a national perspective on workforce development efforts. And multiple panel discussions featured subject-matter experts who examined topics such as what jobseekers are looking for.

Summit attendees, including representatives from Ohio’s Industry Sector Partnerships, celebrated unprecedented investments in Ohio’s manufacturing workforce via the federal Good Jobs Challenge grant.

Brian Benyo, founder of OMA-endorsed ISP Mahoning Valley Manufacturing Coalition and co-founder of the Brilex Companies Group, was presented the inaugural Dan French Legacy Award for his workforce leadership on behalf of Ohio’s manufacturing community. 11/9/2023

November Is Hire-a-Veteran Month

November 10, 2023

The DeWine-Husted administration has proclaimed November is Hire-a-Veteran Month. Ohio is home to nearly 725,000 veterans, which ranks fifth nationally. On this Veterans Day, the OMA is sharing the following tips to help members recruit veterans to manufacturing careers:

Finally, see this listing of free employment events planned across Ohio for Hire-a-Veteran Month. All are open to separating service members, vets, and military spouses. 11/10/2023

New TechCred Application Period Begins

November 3, 2023

Another application round for Ohio’s TechCred is underway, open through 3 p.m. Nov. 30. Over the years, the OMA has advocated for increased funding for this unique training reimbursement program.

Under TechCred, businesses of all sizes are eligible for up to $30,000 per round ($180,000 per year) to upskill employees. Participating employers must partner with a credential provider. Eligible credentials can be found here.

At last check, manufacturers have accounted for about half of all approved applications. Learn more and apply. 11/1/2023

IMAP Grant Open to All Ohioans

November 3, 2023

Manufacturers can let employees and applicants know about a significant expansion of Ohio’s Individual Microcredential Assistance Program, which aims to provide tech-focused credentials to Ohioans at no cost. Read this story.

The IMAP grant is open to all Ohio residents, regardless of income level or employment status. Reimbursement is available for training providers, up to $3,000 per issued tech credential. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 30. Individuals may apply here. 11/1/2023

Manufacturing’s Top Workforce Challenges

November 3, 2023

Perception problems, a skills deficit, and recruiting/retention hurdles: These are the top workforce challenges facing manufacturers, according to Carolyn Lee, who leads the Manufacturing Institute.

In this interview, Lee said automation engineers; roles in data science, computer science, and cybersecurity; and team leads for innovation and R&D are among the most difficult positions to fill.

Meanwhile, this news story spotlights efforts by MAGNET — Northeast Ohio’s MEP and an OMA Connections Partner — to grow the Cleveland area’s talent pool. 11/2/2023

National Apprenticeship Week, Nov. 13-19

November 3, 2023

November 13-19 is National Apprenticeship Week, which promotes apprenticeships’ role in growing the skilled talent pool. The U.S. Department of Labor created this website to share helpful resources, including a list of Apprenticeship Week events.

If you plan to host an event at your business, register here. Also, check out the OMA Workforce Services page for earn-and-learn resources. 11/3/2023

DeWine Names Interim Leader for Education and Workforce

October 27, 2023

Gov. Mike DeWine has named Jessica Voltolini as interim director of Ohio’s new Department of Education and Workforce (DEW). Voltolini most recently served as chief of staff for the Ohio Department of Education.

The announcement was made after a Franklin County judge ruled the DeWine administration could proceed with implementing the agency overhaul, despite a lawsuit filed earlier by members of the Ohio Board of Education.

The creation of DEW was authorized by a provision in the state budget (House Bill 33), which was passed and signed last summer. The original legislation to establish the DEW (Senate Bill 1) was endorsed by the OMA. 10/23/2023

WorkAdvance Makes Headlines in Trumbull County

October 27, 2023

WorkAdvance — the innovative training program that aims to grow the manufacturing workforce — is getting attention in Trumbull County. As reported by news outlets, the WorkAdvance Trumbull County Pilot Program is spearheaded by the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition (MVMC), an OMA-endorsed industry sector partnership.

The program starts Nov. 27 with the first in a series of three-week classes of eight to 10 individuals, who will be paid $750. They’ll get a math refresher course, along with manufacturing technical training and job readiness training. Once employed, they’ll be coached for a year.

The effort is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s “Good Jobs Challenge” program. In 2022, the OMA led the effort to bring this funding opportunity to Ohio. 10/24/2023

Workforce Ideas for Federal Policymakers

October 27, 2023

The National Association of Manufacturers has offered several policy suggestions to federal lawmakers to support the manufacturing workforce development. They include:

  • Expanding the Pell Grant program to include short-term education models and skills training;
  • Investing in apprenticeship and earn-and-learn programs;
  • Promoting attainment of industry-based credentials as a way to complete community and technical colleges;
  • Increasing the amount of tax-exempt educational assistance employers can provide;
  • Prioritizing employer leadership in federal discretionary grant competitions; and
  • Reforming federal work-study programs to highlight career-focused skills.

Read more about NAM’s workforce policy recommendations. 10/24/2023