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House Continues Consideration of Workforce Bill

May 31, 2019

House Bill 2, priority legislation that is aimed at enhancing and growing the state’s skilled workforce, has received a fresh coat of paint as the House Economic Development and Workforce Committee accepted a new substitute version of the bill.

The main tenants of the HB 2 remain the same: $2.5 million in FY 2020 and FY 2021 for industry sector partnerships, and $15 million a year to reimburse employers for training current or prospective employees who receive an industry-recognized certificate. However, the new version of the bill adds complexity in some areas and vagueness in others.

The OMA is supportive of the bill’s purpose, and last week provided proponent testimony at the Statehouse. The OMA will continue to work with House lawmakers and the administration to improve the bill so manufacturers can make effective use of the programs and funding. 5/30/2019

Study: Ohio is a Good Choice for Millennials

May 31, 2019

A new study by financial website finds that Ohio is among the nation’s better states for millennials, who are now ages 23-38. The Buckeye State is ranked 15th best overall by WalletHub. When comparing neighboring states, only Pennsylvania is ranked higher.

For its study, WalletHub looked at 36 key metrics across 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine where the millennial generation has thrived and struggled. Categories include millennial unemployment rates, percentage of millennials living with their parents, and quality of life. According to WalletHub, Ohio is fourth best for housing affordability, eighth best for overall affordability, No. 14 for civic engagement, and No. 19 for quality of life. Ohio’s worst ranking came in the area of “economic health,” in which it was No. 35.

Meanwhile, another study — this one from the National Association of Realtors — found that Dayton, Cleveland, Akron, and Toledo are all in the top 10 most affordable metro areas for millennial homebuyers. Roughly half of all homes on the market in these cities are priced right for millennials, according to the realtors group. 5/29/2019

OMA Leaders Testify in Support of Workforce Bill

May 24, 2019

On Wednesday, May 22, OMA board member and Brilex Industries President Brian Benyo testified at the Ohio Statehouse in support of House Bill 2, priority legislation aimed at enhancing and growing the state’s skilled workforce. HB 2 would complement the OMA’s workforce development strategy. Click here to see Benyo’s full testimony.

Benyo, founder of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition (MVMC) — a sector partnership in Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties — told the House Economic and Workforce Development Committee that “workforce development is the single most important issue facing Ohio businesses today.” The MVMC has enabled Youngstown-area manufacturers to work with educators and other partners to meet “an aligned set of priorities and needs,” Benyo said.

Also appearing in support of the bill were:

  • Jessica Borza, executive director, Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition;
  • Jenny Stupica, director of manufacturing engagement, ConxusNEO;
  • Carla Fitzpatrick, business strategy coordinator and HR Manager, Anderson International Corp.; and
  • Amy Meyer, director of manufacturing engagement, Rhinestahl Corp.

As introduced, HB 2 would provide $2.5 million in FY 2020 and FY 2021 for industry sector partnerships, which are used to coordinate industry-led strategies to meet current and future workforce demands. HB 2 would also provide $15 million a year to reimburse employers for training current or prospective employees who receive an industry-recognized certificate. 5/22/2019

Appearing at this week’s hearing in support of HB 2 were (from left): Carla Fitzpatrick of Anderson International Corp.; Amy Meyer of Rhinestahl Corp.; Jenny Stupica of ConxusNEO; Jessica Borza of Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition; and Brian Benyo of Brilex Industries.

Priority Bill Would Boost Industry-Recognized Credentials, Certificates

May 24, 2019

Among the bipartisan priority bills introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives late last week was House Bill 4, legislation that would allow the governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT) to work directly with employers to develop new industry-recognized credentials and certificates.

Under the HB 4 — sponsored by Rep. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville) and Rep. Phillip Robinson (D-Solon) — employers proposing the creation of a new job training certificate or industry-recognized credential program would be able to work directly with the OWT rather than trying to navigate the state bureaucracy. The OWT would work collaboratively with the Ohio Department of Education or Department of Higher Education in developing the curriculum, standards, or materials necessary for the credential or certificate program.

HB 4 has been referred to the House Economic and Workforce Development for consideration. 5/21/2019

Ohio Unemployment Rate Hits 18-Year Low

May 24, 2019

Ohio’s unemployment rate has hit an 18-year low, according to state data, falling to 4.3% last month. That is the lowest level since July 2001. Several Ohio counties have seen their jobless rate fall below 3.5%. Meanwhile, the national unemployment rate is 3.6%.

Year-over-year, Ohio’s non-agricultural jobs have grown by 44,000, with 2,900 new jobs in the manufacturing sector. Since February 2010, Ohio has gained 593,900 jobs, according to federal reports. 5/20/2019

Workforce Development Bill Introduced

May 17, 2019

Priority legislation was introduced in the House this week to establish and fund three new workforce development programs. House Bill 2 would complement the OMA’s workforce development strategy with a heavy focus on industry sector partnerships and industry recognized credentials.

The legislation would provide $32.5 million in state funding in FY 2020 and FY 2021 for the three programs. The following is a breakdown of the bill’s program spending:

  • TechCred Program — $15 million a year ($14.7 million for employer assistance and $300,000 for administrative costs) to reimburse employers for training current or prospective employees who receive a micro-credential.
  • Individual Micro-Credential Assistance Program — $15 million a year ($14.7 million for employer assistance and $300,000 for administrative costs) to provide grants to individuals to pay for the costs of training to earn a micro-credential.
  • Industry Sector Partnerships Program — $2.5 million a year to support regional partnerships across the state, including a grant program to develop the partnerships and promote their mission.

See the full summary of HB 2 here. 5/16/2019

Miami Valley Career Tech Center’s New Building Will House 1,800 Students

May 17, 2019

Last week, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who also serves as the director of the governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, led a state-wide tour for In-Demand Jobs Week. Among the nearly 400 events held across the state was a groundbreaking ceremony for the Miami Valley Career Technical Center. The new building will provide additional learning space for approximately 1,800 juniors and seniors. Over the years, MVCTC has evolved into a nationally recognized leader in career technical education. 5/15/2019

In-Demand Jobs Week Gets Major Media Attention

May 10, 2019

Today concludes In-Demand Jobs Week. Throughout the past five days, significant news media coverage has been dedicated to this statewide recognition of jobs and skills currently needed by Ohio employers, including the state’s more than 12,600 manufacturing firms.

One of the notable stories was published by Gallipolis Daily Tribune, which reported from Rio Grande — where the Buckeye Hills Career Center celebrated the center’s first Career Signing Day, attended by Lt. Gov. John Husted. The center’s superintendent, Jamie Nash, is quoted as saying that 66% of Ohio’s in-demand jobs don’t require a degree. Nash added that despite the center’s rural location, “around 500 students attend the career center and 600 are slated to attend next year.” 5/9/2019

May 29 Webinar: Funding Solutions for Industry Sector Partnerships

May 10, 2019

On Wednesday, May 29, the OMA will host a webinar dedicated to providing information on funding solutions for industry sector partnerships. In Ohio, multiple industry sector partnerships are helping build the state’s workforce and future talent pool by allowing manufacturers within a regional labor market to work together — and with officials in education, economic and workforce development, and community organizations.

The goal of this webinar is to help industry sector partnerships best position their organizations to build relationships with — and to qualify to receive resources from — philanthropic and other funding organizations and sources. Click here to learn more about this event, or register online now. 5/9/2019

NAM Economist: 476,000 Manufacturing Job Openings

May 10, 2019

Following last week’s jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department, the OMA’s national partner — The National Association of Manufacturers — has summarized the data for the country’s manufacturing sector.

NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray said there were 476,000 manufacturing job openings across the U.S. in March, with durable goods postings hitting an all-time high. According to Moutray, “Overall, job openings in the sector were not far from the 501,000 seen late last year. … The number of quits in the manufacturing sector increased from 211,000 to 221,000 for the month. That was not far from November’s record high (226,000), and it speaks to the ‘churn’ in the tight labor market right now.” 5/9/2019