Ohio manufacturers need qualified skilled workersWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The No. 1 issue facing manufacturers in Ohio is the difficulty finding qualified skilled workers to meet the needs of the industry in the state, according to sources at the Manufacturing and Distribution Update held June 27 at The Pinnacle in Maumee by Gilmore, Jasion & Mahler Ltd. (GJM).
Staff members from GJM learned about the continuing need for skilled workers while meeting with about 20 manufacturers in Northwest Ohio this year, reported Charles Heid, lead tax partner for the Manufacturing Specialist Group at GJM.
“We continue to hear that wherever we go in Ohio,” said Ryan Augsburger, managing director of public policy services for the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA), who spoke to an audience of about 120 people at the update.
The continuing problem of finding qualified workers for manufacturers is the No. 1 issue facing that industry, according to Gary Thompson, vice president and director of JobsOhio for the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP).
Mike Mulholland, chief operating officer of the Freeman Co. in Fremont, said “it’s a continuing struggle” to find qualified skilled workers for the tool-and-die business with 58 employees. He said the company has faced a need for 10 to 15 new workers over the past two years.
Mulholland reported the firm is seeking skilled tool-and-die makers, as well as design, process and programming engineers for its modern, high-tech operation. Freeman focuses on thermal-form tooling for plastic containers used in the food industry.
He said they have found that students today are not encouraged to go into manufacturing if they have aptitude in engineering, math or science. Manufacturing is now a high-tech business that needs workers who are trained to meet their needs, according to Mulholland, who attended the update.
“Ohio is a manufacturing state that is among the top five in the U.S.,” said Augsburger. “Manufacturing was the leading source of new private investment in Ohio, which ranked first in the U.S. in new site selections.”
The $80 billion in manufactured goods in Ohio in 2010 ranked fifth nationally and was 17 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. The 600,000 manufacturing workers comprise 10 percent of Ohio’s workforce with $33 billion in payroll, according to the OMA.
Ohio ranks first in several manufacturing product categories and second or third in many more, Augsburger reported. The state is the ninth-largest exporting state with $46 billion in products shipped to 216 countries.
Augsburger said that manufacturing locates where the “all in costs” — including labor, energy, equipment, environmental, financing, research and development, technology and transportation — are the lowest.
“Ohio is the heart of manufacturing in the U.S.,” said Gary Thompson, vice president of the RGP and director of JobsOhio in this region, who spoke at the update.
JobsOhio is a private nonprofit corporation, formerly part of the Ohio Department of Development. There are six regions for JobsOhio in the state with the Northwest Ohio region representing 17 counties. RGP is the local partner for JobsOhio in this region that is working to bring new business and jobs into Northwest Ohio, said Thompson.
JobsOhio focuses on manufacturing because that industry drives the state’s economy as the largest sector, with 21.2 percent. The state now looks for a return on investment for any incentives offered to companies for locating here under the administration of Gov. Kasich.
Thompson said JobsOhio uses the acronym HITS for Hire, Investments, Training, and Site as its criteria for working with prospective new business. It uses figures of $660,000 in payroll with a minimum of 10 employees and potential to grow by 20 percent for companies to qualify for job creations tax credit in Ohio.
“Manufacturing is part of the impressive economic community in Ohio and it’s important to come and stay together as a community to raise awareness and solve problems,” Augsburger said.
Augsburger is responsible for leading the OMA’s lobbying efforts at the statehouse in addition to spearheading the association’s member involvement in public affairs activities. He previously served as chief of policy and legislative affairs for the Ohio Department of Commerce and as personal aide to former secretary of state Bob Taft.
The OMA represents 1,500 manufacturing members in the state.
GJM is one of the largest accounting firms in the Toledo area and works with a variety of businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, construction, government and not-for-profit industries. Heid is an active member of the tax committee for the OMA.
Heid is seeking local CFOs to participate in a CFO round table in Northwest Ohio. Contact Heid at email@example.com.
Ohio forms manufacturing task force
The creation of the 21st Century Manufacturing Task Force in Ohio was announced this week by Speaker of the House William Batchelder (R-Medina).
The task force is designed to facilitate discussion between Ohio’s manufacturing community, public policy makers and any interested parties regarding the state of manufacturing and what can be done to improve its competitiveness in the state.
The speaker tasked the group with identifying resources to assist manufacturing, impediments that curtail it, future challenges to it, trends and specific ways to address those trends. It could also facilitate new manufacturing opportunities based on the unique characteristics of each section of the state and ways for it to partner with higher education research and development.
Rep. Kirk Shuring (R-Canton), a longtime and strong supporter of manufacturing in Ohio, was chosen to lead the task force that will consist of five Republicans and four Democrats.
The task force will conduct five hearings around the state and must report its recommendations to the speaker no later than Dec. 31. The task force is expected to hold one of the hearings in Northwest Ohio.
The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association is working with Chairman Shuring on programming for the task force. For more information, contact Ryan Augsburger of the OMA at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Duane Ramsey, Gary Thompson, JobsOhio, Kirk Shuring, manufacturing, Manufacturing and Distribution Update, Mike Mulholland, Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Regional Growth Partnership, Ryan Augsburger, William Batchelder