Innovative Earn-and-Learn Strategies

Priming the talent pipeline

A project of the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership


Ohio manufacturers face a shared challenge: a critical labor shortage, particularly in skilled positions. It pervades all stages of manufacturing, from engineering to production, and will grow as technology advances and requires higher levels of training. Manufacturing businesses of all sizes need new ways to partner with Ohio’s educators, including community colleges, universities, adult technical centers, and career technical centers to ensure that our communities are ready for both the jobs of today and those of tomorrow.

Through innovative earn-and-learn strategies, Ohio’s manufacturers can build the talent pipeline to meet their workforce needs while providing rewarding, long-term careers.

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Why Earn-and-Learn?

Provide opportunities for employers to build a workforce to their specifications.
Offer flexible employment models for individuals.
Increase relevancy & accelerate learning by combining instruction with on-the-job training.
Reduce the time & expense of earning degrees & credentials with taylored programs designed by education partners.

Upskilling through Earn-and-Learn strategies

To build Ohio’s manufacturing talent pipeline, the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership (OMWP) is leading a statewide initiative to upskill 5,000 Ohioans with innovative earn-and-learn (apprenticeship) strategies. OMWP is a collaboration between Ohio TechNet (OTN), a consortium of Ohio’s community colleges and other post-secondary education institutions, and The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (OMA), which facilitates the statewide network of manufacturer-led regional sector partnerships.

OMWP’s earn-and-learn programs are currently supported by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), through its Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies initiative, which provided a $12 million grant.

Our Role

OMWP provides a framework to support locally driven efforts through Ohio’s industry sector partnerships to develop and scale innovative models that respond to the needs of employers as well as career seekers. Ohio TechNet fosters innovation and collaboration among Ohio’s public institutions of higher education in order to highlight and accelerate educational innovation that aligns to the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association Manufacturing Workforce Roadmap.

Ohio TechNet supports the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Project through the regular engagement of local workforce professionals and educational leaders throughout the state to share lessons, best practices and tools created that support the expansion of innovative earn and learn programs, reach new audiences, all with a goal to help close the manufacturing workforce gap.

Experiential Advancement Readiness Network

The Experiential Advancement Readiness Network (EARN) project applied successful work-based learning models to recruit and prepare the next generation of manufacturing talent.

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Columbus State Community Based Partnerships
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Get on the TRAIN OH

The TRAIN OH program at Lorain County Community College (LCCC) offers an earn-and-learn approach to earning a certificate or degree. It combines a hands-on college degree experience in several in-demand career fields with paid work-based learning with Northeast Ohio companies.
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The Modern Manufacturing Work-Study Program (MMWS) at Columbus State allows students to dive into a challenging advanced manufacturing career while receiving the education needed to build their resume and make them highly marketable to manufacturers across the state.

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Launch a registered pre-apprenticeship and/or apprenticeship program

ApprenticeOhio is Ohio’s authorized state apprenticeship agency that assists employers to develop apprenticeship programs, approves applications for sponsorship and provides oversight and technical support to existing programs to ensure quality and safety.
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Driving economic advancement for all

Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that drives change in the American workforce and education systems to achieve economic advancement for all.

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