There’s More to Manufacturing Than You Think
We’re standing alongside a number of Ohio manufacturers that are ready to dispel the myths and quell the negative stigma linked to the manufacturing industry during October, national Manufacturing Month. Check out how Cleveland is promoting our industry:
The following article content was excerpted from Cleveland.com. To visit the original article, click here.
CLEVELAND, Ohio – October is manufacturing month and Ohio manufacturers plan to celebrate modern manufacturing with workshops for professionals, and events aimed at attracting more people to the industry.
Did you know that Ohio makes more Swiss cheese than any other state in the nation? How about the fact that the state dominates the nation as a supplier to the airline industry, and companies here make precision parts that go into everything from cars and robotics to medical devices. So it’s no surprise that lots of Ohio manufacturers will be participating in the nation’s fourth annual Manufacturing month.
“There are more than 2,000 manufacturers who have registered their MFG DAY events with MFGDAY.com, and many more who are holding all sorts of other events to engage and educate local students, teachers, parents, and community members at large about the value of manufacturing jobs and manufacturing’s significant economic impact,” said Eric Burkland, president of the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association.
Last year, closer to 1,000 events were planned nationwide for the third annual event. Local manufacturers say one reason efforts are ramped up is because of the growing need to hire people. They want to play a role in dispelling perceptions based primarily on a bygone era. Too many people think of manufacturing as a dirty industry that’s dangerous or boring. The reality is much of manufacturing has moved to climate-controlled buildings with tons of computerized systems, 3-D printers, robots and a huge need for creative and skilled employees with technical abilities.
Manufacturing is on a serious comeback in the region, but opportunities for many of the expected 49,000 job openings in the next decade require technological skills, according to a recent report from Team NEO, an economic development group.
Manufacturing is the second-largest private sector employer in Northeast Ohio — second only to health care. So far this year, health care reports about 319,000 jobs, or 16 percent of regional jobs, while manufacturing makes up 13 percent of the jobs, according to the report.
After shedding jobs for a decade, manufacturing is growing at its fastest pace since 2010, building equipment and components that power industries throughout the country and world. From 1990 to 2015, the gross regional product of Northeast Ohio grew by 17 percent, while productivity increased by 92 percent. In other words, the industry is doing more with less people.
A wide range of activities will be held in Cleveland this year – from open house tours of manufacturing plants and educational programs at community and technical colleges, to professional conferences and job fairs. Events include facility tours, demonstrations and presentations.
The first big event kicks off Wednesday. MPower hosted by MAGNET (the region’s Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network) and Crains, is aimed at helping manufacturers grow. The Akron event at the John S. Knight Center is expected to attract more than 400 manufacturers.
At the same time more companies are reporting growth, the manufacturing industry is facing a major skilled workforce shortage. It is estimated that over the next decade, 2 million manufacturing jobs in America will go unfilled due to manufacturers’ inability to find talent with the required skills.
It’s the reason Warrensville-Heights based Formtek, Inc. reached out to a group of companies and colleges to participate in National Manufacturing Day on Friday. Hundreds of high school students from seven local schools are expected to participate in plant tours. They’ll also see demonstrations of robotic arms, a Mars Rover replica from NASA Glen Research Center, a virtual reality trainer welding system and robotic welding cell, 3‐D printing machines and a 38-foot automation trailer. Last year, about 325 students and others, attended the Formtek event.
The event is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers, builders and inventors.
Burkland, of the Ohio Manufacturer’s Association, is excited about the growing number of events and what he sees as a movement for change.
“The coolest thing about this is that it is not an event, but a drumbeat, a cause that has momentum in Ohio and the U.S. that is changing attitudes about the realities of modern American manufacturing.”