Ohio TechNet (OTN) is a consortium of career technical centers, Ohio Technical Centers, community colleges and universities, who have partnered with The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA) and other state and national partners to make Ohio a leader in solving the manufacturing workforce shortage.
Building toward the future
Partnering for solutions
Manufacturers in Ohio have implemented industry-led sector partnerships in nearly every part of the state —facilitating collaboration among education, economic development, workforce development and industry partners to address workforce gaps. OTN coordinates higher education’s efforts to support the workforce needs of manufacturers. We work closely with The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA), employers, government agencies and other stakeholders to create pathways for in-demand careers and a robust, workforce-ready talent pipeline in Ohio. By promoting efficiency and creativity through collaboration, Ohio TechNet has sparked the development of dozens of new or enhanced programs that have trained thousands.
To meet the hiring needs of Ohio’s large, mid-size and small manufacturers, OTN members work closely with their local industry partners. Many of these manufacturers are helping to lead regional sector partnerships or are leaders in driving the OMA statewide workforce strategies.
Expanding apprenticeship and
OTN partners have expanded registered apprenticeship programs and launched other Earn & Learn models that align with Ohio’s most in-demand jobs. Expertise within the consortium accelerates the adoption of these models among partner institutions – creating a win-win for students who can complete training with little-to-no debt, and employers who can build a sustainable talent pipeline for entry-level and skilled positions.
Accelerating student learning
OTN launched and is leading the expansion of FastPathOhio.com to help Ohio colleges and universities connect with adults whose on-the-job training may qualify for college credit through Prior Learning Assessment. Expansion of Competency-Based Education is also an OTN priority – allowing students to enter manufacturing careers much faster than in traditional seat-based instruction.
Offering free training and resources
We have partnered with the OMA and SkillsCommons to create a portal of free training resources. Materials have been curated by Ohio manufacturers and community college faculty to provide content for your training program.
Building a bridge between jobs and people
Manufacturing is the largest of the 20 sectors of Ohio’s economy, including government, with 16.63% of total output in 2018*.
As such, it has a tremendous need for talent. Since the launch of the OMA’s workforce services in 2016, the biggest constraint to industry growth has been a significant disparity between the number of available jobs in manufacturing and the number of qualified applicants for them. Despite the unemployment rate spikes that followed the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers continue to report difficulty filling available jobs.
- Ongoing baby boomer retirements and decreasing population
- Rapid industrial technology advancements, leading to mismatches in the curriculum, instructor capacity and equipment within the education system
- Linger misconceptions about the industry as well as competitive recruitment from other sectors
- Ripple effects of COVID-19, which are disrupting normal job seeking and hiring, as well as new and ongoing employment barriers (e.g., lack of available childcare and transportation)
Risk if not resolved: Jobs will be filled outside of Ohio.
*According to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, Manufacturing Counts, 2020-2021
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Find an education partner near you
Our education partners are helping prepare the next generation of manufacturers. To collaborate or start a program of your own, get contact information here.
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