Employers in manufacturing have struggled with talent shortages for years, long before the coronavirus pandemic shifted the labor landscape for nearly every industry. There are a number of hurdles for manufacturers to overcome, according to those in the field, but a skills gap remains a primary challenge, an Ohio organization said Oct. 6.
To address that barrier, nonprofit economic development corporation JobsOhio — along with two other groups — announced a $2.9 million investment to pilot a training program that will aim to train workers on in-demand manufacturing skills.
Among other things, the program will support a full-time recruiter who will guide candidates into local manufacturing jobs or training programs, according to the announcement.
"This first-of-its-kind pilot project enables us to generate a direct pipeline between advanced manufacturing talent and the companies that need a skilled workforce," said the state’s lieutenant governor, Jon Husted, in a statement.
In addition to the reported skills gap, manufacturers have in recent years lamented other talent acquisition and retention challenges: Some have pointed to a branding problem, suggesting that younger workers have eschewed manufacturing jobs in favor of those they perceive to be more tech-driven or remote-work friendly. Others have pointed to a need to boost wages in the industry — a call some employers answered last year.