CLEVELAND — Here in Northeast Ohio, manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hardest hit right now because of the labor shortage.
Governor Mike DeWine stopped in Cleveland today to tour Cuyahoga Community College’s Manufacturing Technology Center to learn how the school is training and attracting the next generation of welders, specialists, and technicians.
“I think the old vision of what a manufacturing job was: that it was dirty and low tech is simply not true today,” DeWine said. “It’s high-tech. One of the keys to our future is filling these jobs.”
The push comes as DeWine’s office estimates that two million manufacturing jobs nationwide are expected to remain open over the next decade.
At Marich Machine & Tool Company in Cleveland, general manager Chris Matan never stops trying to hire new talent.
“Always hiring, always looking, always available for that ideal candidate to walk through the door,” Matan said.
Ten years ago, he told News 5 a single job posting would bring in 50 applicants; it’s not the same nowadays.
“In the last 30 days of ads, signage, and talking, I've had 3 interviews,” he said.
It’s a problem across all sorts of industries and only appears to be getting worse.
Ohio Means Jobs currently lists more than 243,000 available jobs, including 134,000 jobs that pay more than $50,000 a year.
Back in May, Ohio Means Jobs only listed 180,000 available jobs, including 94,000 which pay more than $50,000 a year.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that for one reason or another, Ohio still hasn’t recovered its manufacturing workforce compared to pre-pandemic, down 30,000 paying jobs since March of 2020.
DeWine argues the best way to fill these jobs is by continuing to build a student pipeline. That means schools offering programs to train students, which then funnels them straight into the workforce.
“We will help you, we will train you, we will help business train you, we will do whatever it takes because that’s [not only] how you advance, but it’s also how the state of Ohio advances,” he added.