News and Analysis
“The automation engineering technology program at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) is the best-kept secret in Northeast Ohio.” That’s according to AgriNomix CEO Robert Lando, whose company commissioned this fantastic video to spotlight the instruction taking place at the community college. LCCC is working with its manufacturing partners to tailor earn-and-learn programs.
LCCC Assistant Professor Scott Zitek advises employers interested in hiring new talent not to wait until a student finishes his/her training — “because if you wait for them to graduate, chances are you’re not going to have very many options.” 10/14/2019
The OMA and Making Ohio have published a new case study that spotlights the success of the WorkAdvance program, administered by the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition — which is part of the OMA’s industry sector partnership network. This one-page document tells the story of Gerald — a Youngstown-area resident — who moved through a series of low-wage jobs until he participated in WorkAdvance. 10/7/2019
In a tight labor market, it’s difficult to find qualified talent. One workforce solution is hiring older workers who can bring experience, mentoring, and expertise to the workplace. To attract and retain the key baby boomer demographic — currently 55 to 75 years old — it helps to understand their needs and values. OMA Connections Partner RSM has published this animated infographic that examines key qualities of this valued segment of the workforce. 10/10/2019
National Apprenticeship Week, set for Nov. 11-17, is intended to bring together leaders in business, labor, education, and other fields to showcase the positive impact that apprenticeships have on addressing the U.S. skills gap. Join the celebration by hosting an event — such as an apprenticeship graduation, business open house, high school career fair, skills competition, or industry roundtable. Register your event at this site. 10/8/2019
The OMA’s Ohio Manufacturers’ Workforce Summit is a must for anyone connected to the manufacturing community. Set for Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, the summit will feature a robust agenda. Here are the top reasons to attend:
- Get Up to Speed: The summit will provide a detailed look at Ohio’s existing workforce development programs, while doing a deep dive on how manufacturers can benefit from the $12 million apprenticeship grant recently awarded to the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership.
- Get on the Same Page with Other Manufacturers: Attendees will be briefed on industry sector partnerships, which allow manufacturers in the same region to work together to find common workforce solutions. A lunch-time panel of experts will shed light on the growing use of innovative apprenticeships and how they can be used in tandem with credentialing programs.
- Gather Proven Workforce Strategies: The summit will offer several breakout sessions, presented by some of Ohio’s foremost workforce experts. Gather proven strategies and best practices to grow your region’s workforce.
- Expand Your Ohio Network: At the summit’s Partnership Networking Hour, attendees can network with industry sector partnership representatives from their region in an informal setting.
- Get a Cool T-Shirt: The first 500 who register will get a free “Making Ohio” T-shirt.
Don’t miss out. Register now! 10/10/2019
Last week, we briefed you on Ohio’s new TechCred program. Here’s another reimbursement opportunity for manufacturers who want to grow their workforce talent.
Manufacturers hiring interns through the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) High School Internship Program can be reimbursed 50% of student wages — up to a maximum of $1,500 per student. Interns must be enrolled in one of Ohio’s career tech high schools. Students in welding, CNC machining, engineering, waste management, cyber security, robotics, and alternative energy programs are all eligible.
Funding is available until Sept. 30, 2020 — or until funds are expended, whichever comes first. For more information or to apply, use this email address — or contact your local Ohio MEP Partner based upon the region in which you are located.
Northeast Ohio’s MAGNET notes that last year, 80% of interns in the MEP program were hired at the end of their internship. (Note: The OMA has published guidance for manufacturers interested in having 16- and 17-year-old students work part-time in their facility under the supervision of a mentor.) 10/3/2019
This week, OMA members Amy Meyer of Rhinestahl Corp., Shawn Hendrix of Nissen Chemitech, and Jenny Stupica of ConxusNEO testified before an Ohio Senate panel in support of workforce legislation aimed to enhance and grow Ohio’s skilled workforce. House Bill 2 complements OMA’s workforce development strategy by implementing the new TechCred program, while providing funding for industry sector partnerships. (Ohio manufacturers can apply for the TechCred grant now.)
The OMA submitted a letter in support of HB 2 on behalf of the OMA statewide sector partnership network, thanking state lawmakers for supporting and investing in the sector partnership model. 10/3/2019
The OMA this week submitted support testimony for Senate Bill 181, sponsored by Sen. Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township). The bill would direct the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education to create a template for workforce-education partnership programs. SB 181 is based off the partnership developed in Butler County between county employers and Miami University — and its regional campuses across the county.
The aim of the model is to have students/employees graduate without student loan debt. Local employers, including manufacturers, pay for tuition and housing for students who work part time while pursing their higher education credentials. In similar programs across the country, companies utilizing such programs have seen higher retention, while education providers have experienced higher graduation rates. 10/3/2019
In August, Ohio’s overall jobless rate was 4.1%, but unemployment once again varied significantly among the 88 counties. According to the monthly map by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, Monroe County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 7.4%, with Adams County following at 6.6%. Mercer County, at 2.7%, again had the lowest rate. Wyandot, Auglaize, Delaware, Putnam, Van Wert, Williams, Geauga, Wayne, Hancock, and Holmes counties were also under 3.5%. 9/30/2019
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who oversees the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, this week launched the innovative, new TechCred program, which aims to enhance Ohio’s skilled workforce by reimbursing employers who help current or new employees earn industry-recognized, technology-focused credentials.
Because boosting Ohio’s manufacturing talent pool is a key goal of the program, here are some important details for OMA members:
- Businesses will identify the specific, technology-centric qualifications they need, as well as the employee(s) they want to upskill.
- To qualify for reimbursement of training costs, the employer must partner with a training provider and apply online. Individuals listed in an employer’s application must be Ohio residents with a verifiable Ohio address.
- The state will reimburse up to $2,000 per credential, with a limit of one reimbursement per employee in each funding round.
- Employers can receive up to a total of $30,000 per funding round, and businesses of all sizes are eligible, according to the program guidelines.
- The application period begins Tuesday, Oct. 1, and ends Oct. 31.
The OMA was a strong supporter of the provision in Ohio’s new two-year budget that appropriated $30 million to support this credentialing program. The state intends to fund 20,000 credentials over the next two years. For questions regarding TechCred, use this email address. 9/25/2019