News and Analysis
Ohio’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.2% in December, according to the Department of Job and Family Services. That’s down from 4.6% a year earlier. Ohio employers added 9,800 jobs in December — led by construction (3,400) and manufacturing (1,100). The total number of Ohio manufacturing jobs exceeded 701,000 as of December.
From December 2018 to December 2019, Ohio shed 1,700 manufacturing jobs, as losses in durable goods (-2,600) exceeded gains in non-durables (+900). 1/27/2020
With an estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring every day across the U.S., Ohio policymakers — in coordination with groups like the OMA — are taking a proactive approach to close the skills gap, focusing on initiatives to expand the use of industry-recognized credentials, grow apprenticeships, and strengthen local sector partnerships. But there’s plenty of competition from other states, all of whom are seeking to be workforce development leaders.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has published a summary of workforce legislation recently enacted by other states. This includes Connecticut’s Military-to-Machinists job training program; Maryland’s Apprenticeship Career Training Pilot Program for formerly incarcerated individuals; and Alabama’s “sweeping apprenticeship bill” that creates the Alabama Registered and Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program, as well as tax incentives to hire apprentices. 1/27/2020
If you want to enhance the skills of your manufacturing employees — and be reimbursed for doing so — take advantage of Ohio’s TechCred program. The deadline for the current application round is Friday, Jan. 31.
As a reminder, here’s the list of approved credentials for TechCred. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you can still apply and make your case for a credential to be added to the list.
Need help applying? Check out the OMA’s recent webinar that details TechCred’s benefits and operations, and explains how to apply online. 1/23/2020
On Thursday, Jan. 23, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced the launch of the Industry Sector Partnership grant program. The program’s development was spearheaded by the OMA to expand and enhance Ohio’s partnerships and their workforce development efforts.
Established by House Bill 2 and funded through the state operating budget (HB 166), the program will invest $5 million over two years to strengthen the state’s network of industry sector partnerships. If you are interested in working with your local manufacturing sector partnership, check out this directory. 1/23/2020
Every four years, Ohio creates a Combined State Plan to better align the state’s largest workforce programs that connect businesses to qualified workers. This plan includes federal funds for local OhioMeansJobs centers, as well as for job training and job search assistance programs. State officials have released the draft of the revised Combined State Plan for a 30-day public comment period. Learn more here. 1/20/2020
A new survey by the Manufacturing Institute — the workforce and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers — finds that manufacturers spent at least $26.2 billion in 2019 to combat the workforce shortage. This is the first time the Institute has calculated manufacturing expenditures to close the skills gap.
The survey found that the vast majority of the nation’s manufacturers (79.4%) are increasing their workforce training efforts. 1/20/2020
This week, OMA-member American Honda Motor Co. joined a growing number of employers that have signed the “Pledge to America’s Workers” — a White House initiative aimed at boosting workforce training opportunities. At last check, 420 companies had pledged more than 14.5 million new education and training opportunities for U.S. students and workers over the next five years.
Honda’s pledge alone will expand job training for 50,000 workers by 2025. 1/21/2020
On Monday, Jan. 13, at a ceremony at GROB Systems, Inc. in Bluffton, Gov. DeWine signed into law House Bill 2 — the bipartisan workforce development bill that creates the Industry Sector Partnership grant program and the TechCred program. Both are designed to help manufacturers fill jobs and upskill employees. The OMA was a strong supporter of HB 2.
Under Ohio’s TechCred program — which is currently accepting employer applications through Jan. 31 — businesses can apply for up to $2,000 in reimbursement for each employee who earns a credential. During the first round of applications last fall, 234 employers were approved, resulting in 1,576 new credentials, including many in manufacturing.
The Industry Sector Partnership grant program will be rolled out later this winter. It will allow partnerships to apply for state funds that can be used for priorities such as scaling partnership programs and funding partnership services. Across Ohio, multiple manufacturing partnerships are helping build the local talent pool by collaborating with leaders in education, economic and workforce development, and community organizations. 1/13/2020
From November 2018 to November 2019, Ohio’s total employment increased by 96,900 (1.8%), according to the latest monthly report from the Ohio Office of Budget and Management. Over the same period, the number of unemployed Ohioans fell by 19,500 (-7.3%).
The number of individuals employed by Ohio manufacturers decreased by 2,200 (0.3%) on a year-over-year basis. Currently, Ohio has approximately 700,000 manufacturing jobs. 1/13/2020
Want to be reimbursed for upskillling your manufacturing employees? The current application period for Ohio’s TechCred program ends Jan. 31.
This week, the OMA hosted a webinar in which John Sherwood, workforce project manager for the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, detailed TechCred’s benefits and operations, and how to apply online. Apply or learn more at the TechCred website. 1/9/2020