LIFT partners with Ohio TechNet to launch Foundations For Manufacturing Careers in Ohio

LIFT and Ohio TechNet, in collaboration with Lorain Community College, Work Advance and additional educational and industry partners, announced Foundations for Manufacturing Careers: Worker Readiness in Ohio. Expected to launch in spring 2016, the program aims to provide Ohioans with a path to enter and excel in the state’s high demand advanced manufacturing sector.

“Employer demand in Ohio for manufacturing workers has nearly doubled since the end of 2014; however, too few individuals are gaining the in-demand skills employers are `seeking,” said Larry Brown, executive director of LIFT. “The critical skills gap needs to be addressed to advance the robust manufacturing enterprises throughout the state.”

Foundations for Manufacturing Careers will not only address the skills needed to operate today’s manufacturing equipment, but also the greatest entry-level need of manufacturing employers – employability skills – by providing Ohioans with a career-oriented pathway toward high-demand occupations. Individuals will participate in one of two ways:

  • Manufacturing Readiness Program – Expand upon existing models to package classroom instruction, career coaching and wraparound support services, and fully prepare and support participants with the skills necessary for success.
  • Foundations for Manufacturing Career Course – Develop a common course aligned to nationally portable, industry-recognized credentials for adoption across all community colleges in Ohio, and promote adoption throughout the state’s university system.


“LIFT and Ohio TechNet have the common goal of helping youth and adults prepare for high quality, in-demand jobs that are critical to the vitality of the state’s emergent manufacturing industry,” said LIFT Education & Workforce Director Emily DeRocco. “This Foundations course is needed in all states, and we are eager to share Ohio’s initiative and progress across the nation.”

The Foundations for Manufacturing Careers: Worker Readiness in Ohio project will be coordinated by Lorain County Community College on behalf of the Ohio TechNet Community College Consortium. Academic and workforce partners include: The Ohio Department of Higher Education, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Trumbull Career and Technical Center, Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, Columbiana County Career and Technical Center, and Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs in Butler, Columbiana, Hamilton, Lorain, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, Ohio Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, and WorkAdvance partners.

Industry partners include: Ohio Manufacturing Careers Council and The Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition.

“Key statewide academic institutions and industry consortiums have developed strong partnerships to expand and deploy educational pathways from the high school level through the college and university level,” said Terri Burgess Sandu, director of workforce development, Lorain County Community College. “LCCC is proud to build on these partnerships with the support of LIFT to expand the talent pool for employers with lucrative manufacturing careers.”

“Our goal is to create a program that is replicable, impactful, and can be expanded upon to address the critical skills that will serve as drivers to Ohio’s manufacturing industry success,” said Rebecca Kusner, director, WorkAdvance. “This program fulfills those needs and addresses what Ohio manufacturers need most, talent.”

For more information about Foundations For Manufacturing Careers and other LIFT education and workforce development initiatives, contact LIFT Education & Workforce Director Emily DeRocco at