Ohio has been a leading job creator over the past year, and in order to continue this positive momentum, we must make sure that our workforce is capable of filling these open job positions. Throughout the summer, I have traveled around the state to better educate myself on the issue of workforce development, where Ohio is coming up short and how to best address these concerns.

I began the summer with a Workforce Development Summit, which concerned a topic that I have been passionate about since joining the legislature. At the summit, 15 local businesses, the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, and JobsOhio all discussed Ohio’s efforts to improve the environment for preparing and finding a skilled workforce as the economy recovers.

Having heard the administrative direction, I wanted to see specific examples of local companies who have been having trouble fulfilling their workforce needs. Because we had seen the shortage of machinists locally, I traveled to Cincinnati to witness the operations of another company that shares this dilemma.

General Tool, responsible for the new catapult mechanism on United States aircraft carriers, is also seeing a limited workforce with the skills necessary to enter their specific fields. In the case of machinists, job offers are plentiful and competitive, which is leading to smaller companies seeing a large amount of turnover. Small companies are more willing to hire young, inexperienced machinists. But once those young machinists gain experience, they are drawn to bigger companies that offer more attractive salaries and benefits.

Next, I saw first-hand some of the problems associated with education as it pertains to workforce development. Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee traveled through the 86th House District this summer on his Tour de Ohio. We took advantage of his time at PAS Technologies to discuss programming offered by Ohio State in order to better understand where the industry and the educators need to improve.

Ohio State has a committed engineering program for the aerospace industry. However, degrees from traditional four-year programs are only one option for entering into career fields. I wanted to hear from the career and technical schools. With help from Ohio Career Colleges and Schools we were able to arrange a roundtable with 11 area schools at the Art Institute of Ohio in Cincinnati to gain a better understanding of what drives their curriculum and programming and what they are currently offering.

The summer has been a very educational experience for my understanding of the environment that forms the young minds of tomorrow and also that which re-train adults after the jobs of yester-year. Ohio is working towards improving ways to use the resources we have more efficiently like programming, education, and our workforce. I am confident when I tell prospective employers, we have the number one workforce in the nation. I am dedicated to ensuring that companies like AMES, PAS, and Hadsell Chemical who are all expanding, will be able to hire workers from our local community.


Post a Comment