Celebrate Ohio Manufacturing
By State Senator Bill Beagle, column from TippNews Daily
October 18, 2013
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For much of the 20th and 21st Centuries, the many sectors of the manufacturing industry served as the backbone of Ohio’s economy. This history includes a strong tradition of hard work and great pride in what we’ve created right here in the Buckeye State.

Today, the manufacturing industry has changed through advancements in technology, but remains as strong as ever. In fact, 2013 brings with it a manufacturing industry with a wide range of career possibilities for Ohio’s young people as well as those who are looking for a new career.

I frequently hear from manufacturers who struggle with the sometimes-negative image of dark shop floors, dirty factories and long hours that have historically accompanied thoughts of manufacturing. For this reason, sometimes parents see this industry as a less-desirable option for their children.

In reality, modern manufacturing is a clean, precise and highly advanced career field.

Manufacturing in the modern world is innovative, technical and challenging, and there are many great jobs available. Jobs in manufacturing today often require education and training beyond simply a high school diploma, but not necessarily a four-year degree.  Many offer exciting career paths in science, technology, engineering and math fields. These are high-paying, highly skilled jobs that offer our young adults great opportunities to earn a living and provide for their family.

Given the many opportunities available in the manufacturing industry, it may be difficult to believe that one of the biggest issues facing manufacturers today is an inability to find qualified applicants for open jobs. It is critical that we not only provide training opportunities that align with the needs of the industry, but we must reverse the negative image that persists and spark an interest amongst our young people in manufacturing careers. This industry is poised for growth and positioned to lead Ohio’s economic recovery in the years to come, but this growth cannot happen unless our state has the qualified workforce to fill the jobs that would be created.

October is the second annual “Ohio Manufacturing Month,” and this past Friday, I spent the day touring a number of our local manufacturing companies, and was amazed at what is happening inside these facilities. I encourage everyone to explore the opportunities that exist in this critically important sector of Ohio’s economy. Join me in celebrating Ohio’s rich history in manufacturing this month.

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