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Continuing Efforts to Mend the Expanding Skills Gap

skills gap

The state-wide October celebrations of Manufacturing Day and other month-long manufacturing events re-awakened the industry’s elephant in the room. This being the growing skills gap between available manufacturing jobs in the state and employees prepared with the skills required to fill open manufacturing jobs in Ohio. There are currently 265,000 people out of work in the state and 198,801 unfilled jobs, according to an Oct. 15 column in the Xenia, Ohio-based Xenia Gazette written by republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. Of the 198,801 open positions, a number of these include job opportunities requiring skilled manufacturing know-how. Although a number of job training programs currently exist and inputs from interested parties including lawmakers, business owners, students and potential employees abound, few programs know how to stop the continuing spread of the skills gap.

Reflections on Manufacturing Month in Ohio

Following last month’s manufacturing-based celebrations, in his article Sen. Portman chose to reflect on bipartisan legislation authored by himself and democratic Sen. Michael Bennet (Colorado) back in 2012. Titled the CAREER (Careers Through Responsive, Efficient and Effective Retraining) Act, the program aimed to reduce wasteful, ineffective and duplicate job training initiatives tasked with mending the job skills gap. Sen. Portman’s joint effort worked to make job training by the government more conducive to the needs of a 21st century job market. The initiative included inputs from individuals from community colleges, prospective employers, and students, all looking to improve existing job training programs.

Since the introduction of the CAREER Act in September 2012, Sen. Portman also introduced the Leveling the Playing Field Act with Ohio democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. The act works to change the “material injury standard” and lessens the impact of foreign trade affecting local jobs.

Local Problem Solving Across the Industry

Until lawmakers and interested parties identify a long-term solution to the ambiguous and unwieldy skills gap problem, it will be up to local manufacturers to remain open to finding a day-to-day work-around. Cleveland Deburring Machine Company (CDMC) believes part of the solution is remaining open to the needs of the customer. At CDMC this includes a core sensitivity to working with each individual customer to provide the most cost-effective solution. This openness is particularly important as the emphasis on the final step of manufacturing grows increasingly pertinent to manufacturers in a number of areas. If you have a need for consistent, reliable and repeatable deburring processes, talk to the deburring experts at CDMC.

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