Ohio Manufacturing Group Unveils Workforce-Development Campaign

At its first workforce summit, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association unveiled a new campaign aimed at bolstering interest in manufacturing jobs in the state.

By the year 2025, there will be around two million manufacturing jobs around the country left unfilled. That’s according to Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers and keynote speaker at the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association’s Workforce Summit 2017 on November 1.

To address those future vacancies, OMA is working to boost its recruiting and talent development with a new workforce-development campaign called “Making Ohio: Ohio Manufacturing,” which provides information about manufacturing jobs and the training needed for them.

“Ohio’s future competitiveness and prosperity depend on access to a robust talent supply chain comprising workers with the specific capabilities and credentials employers say are necessary to enter and succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s in-demand jobs,” said OMA President Eric Burkland, in a press release [PDF].

The Making Ohio platform is a hub of information and branded creative assets, such as posters and ads, that Ohio’s manufacturers and manufacturing groups can use to drive their own recruitment campaigns. For instance, Ohio TechNet, a consortium of Ohio two-year colleges, is currently using it to drive a 30-day social media campaign aimed at increasing student interest in manufacturing careers.

“This issue can’t be solved at the national or state level,” Burkland said. “It’s got to be solved where people live and where they work.” OMA hopes that manufacturers and manufacturing groups across the state will use these new resources to address the specific challenges that they’re facing regarding talent development and recruitment. For example, some groups may want to focus their outreach on young women or veterans, while others may want to encourage high school juniors or seniors to consider technical college.

To help with outreach, groups have access to a bevy of branded resources, such as a postcard that reads, “You can’t put a price on a college education. But roughly speaking, it’s about $59,000,” or a social media post that says, “It’s hard to stand out while sitting behind a desk.”

“There’s broad understanding within manufacturing that we need to do a better job to communicate effectively what manufacturing careers are like,” Burkland said. “There’s still an image problem—the old dark, dirty, dangerous image. Today, nothing can be farther from the truth, so we’re all aware that we need to up our game, to engage potential workers in manufacturing careers. And the best way to do that is to expose them to it.”