Regional Chamber launches Rebuilding America series; Local program to address ‘middle skills’ gap

Apr 16, 2015
A Harvard Business School senior lecturer and a manufacturing career pathways summit are among the highlights of a four-part Regional Chamber series that focuses on arming workers with the “middle skills” needed to meet employment demands.

YOUNGSTOWN – A Harvard Business School senior lecturer and a manufacturing career pathways summit are among the highlights of a four-part Regional Chamber series that focuses on arming workers with the “middle skills” needed to meet employment demands.

In partnership with the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition, Youngstown State University, Oh-Penn Manufacturing Collaborative and Advanced Manufacturing Industry Partnership, the Regional Chamber’s Rebuilding America series launches May 20 with a keynote address by Harvard lecturer Joseph Fuller, founder of the global consulting firm Monitor Group, now Monitor-Deloitte. The series concludes Sept. 22 with the summit that includes opportunities for students to meet with representatives from manufacturing companies and career centers about jobs, internships and co-ops.

“By addressing one of the top concerns for employers and site selectors in manufacturing, the Youngstown-Warren area can better position itself to continue capitalizing on the nation’s industrial rebirth,” Regional Chamber President and CEO Tom Humphries said. The Chamber, as the lead economic development agency for Trumbull and Mahoning counties, has positioned the region among the nation’s leaders in industrial investment and exportation. Last year it attracted $126 million in business investments that created 484 new jobs in the Valley.

Rebuilding America is designed to address the fact that while millions of potential workers remain unemployed, and millions more are underemployed, companies struggle to fill open positions. These “middle skills” jobs that require more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree continue to remain vacant, reducing America’s global competitiveness.

“We are pleased to be part of this series, drawing further attention to regional manufacturing career pathways and emphasizing the importance of working together to seize the economic opportunities before us,” said Jessica Borza, Oh-Penn Manufacturing Collaborative sector partnership coordinator. The collaborative is a partnership between the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition and the Manufacturing Industry Partnership of Lawrence and Mercer counties in Pennsylvania. It is designed to identify common challenges and opportunities, share ideas and collectively champion solutions to address priority needs, especially as they relate to a skilled workforce.

Here’s a summary of the four events:

-“Bridge the Gap: Rebuilding America’s Middle Skills,” 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 20, Kent State Trumbull Campus, Champion. Fuller will deliver the keynote and be joined by panelists for a discussion and Q&A.
-“Bringing Jobs Back to the USA,” 7:15 to 9 a.m., June 23, Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, Canfield. Tim Hutzel, who has a 50-year career in manufacturing, business and management, will deliver the keynote address about a manufacturing reshoring strategy developed in his book, “Bringing Jobs Back to the USA: Rebuilding America’s Manufacturing through Reshoring.”
-“Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Strategies,” 7:15 to 9 a.m., July 30, Tyler History Center, downtown Youngstown. America Makes Deputy Director of Workforce and Educational Outreach Mike Hripko will deliver the keynote address focusing on developing qualified labor to meet advanced manufacturing needs. The event concludes with a tour of America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.
-“Northeastern OH/Western PA Manufacturing Career Pathways Summit,” 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 22, YSU’s Kilcawley Center. Work opportunities and networking will be offered for students, manufacturers and educators.

To register, contact Amy Young at 330-744-2131 ext. 12 or amy@regionalchamber.com , or register on line by visiting the Calendar of Events page at regionalchamber.com.