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Media Coverage

MVMC in the News (APR)

DeWine Lauds Creation of Lake to River Development District (Business Journal)

Lake to River Economic Development group for Trumbull, Mahoning, Ashtabula and Columbiana counties announced (Tribune Chronicle)

Hefty job growth targeted in Valley’s new economic development district (Vindicator)

Governor DeWine, JobsOhio Announce Completion of JobsOhio Network with addition of Lake to River Region (Yahoo Finance)

3 Minutes With: Repopulation Efforts and the Importance of Legal Immigration (Business Journal)

Journal Opinion: Making the Best of a Bad Situation (Business Journal)

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Media Coverage

MVMC in the News (Mar)

Repopulation Roundtable: Who, Why and How? (Business Journal)

Roundtable Preview: Valley Repopulation Demands Group Effort (Business Journal)

Career center receives $2.5M from state for commercial equipment (Tribune Chronicle) 

Students gear up for a future in tech during MCCTC career fair (The Vindicator)

TCTC receiving $2.5M to prepare students for top Ohio jobs (WFMJ TV)

Valley Schools Get $5.7M for Career Technical Programs (Business Journal)

MVMC Begins New Era of Leadership (Business Journal)

3 Minutes With: MVMC Begins Leadership Transition (Business Journal)

Career Exploration Mobile Unit Ready to Roll in Columbiana County (Business Journal)

Meet Our Repopulation Roundtable Panelists (Business Journal)

Why is Repopulation Vital to the Future of Our Region (Business Journal)

Manufacturing event held at Warren school (Mahoning Matters)

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Media Coverage

MVMC in the News (Feb)

Borza Accepts Leadership Role at Ohio Manufacturers’ Association (Business Journal)

MVMC director moving to state manufacturing group (Vindicator)

MVMC director moving to state manufacturing group (Tribune Chronicle)

Roemer Industries Carries Momentum Into 2024 (Business Journal)

Lawrence, Mercer Join in New Workforce Coalition (Business Journal)

MVMC Director accepts role with the state (WFMJ TV)

Daily Buzz: Salem Regional Expands; MVMC Leader Steps into Statewide Role (Business Journal)

Borza Accepts Leadership Role; Hertzer Promoted (The Review Newspapers)

Mahoning Valley manufacturing official named to state role (Mahoning Matters)

Manufacturers Coalition Adds Accountant to Staff (Business Journal)

MVMC Adds Staff (Vindicator)

MVMC Adds Staff (Tribune Chronicle)

Lawrence Mercer Manufacturers Coalition Awarded $236K (Business Journal)

Lawrence Mercer Manufacturers Coalition receives grant (Sharon Herald)

Mahoning County Career and Technical Center holds Kids Career Fair (Mahoning Matters)

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Media Coverage

Study: Traditional four-year degree losing steam among teens

More than half of teenagers are open to alternatives to a traditional college degree to prepare them for a career.

 

According to a 2021 survey by ECMC Group, just 48 percent of high school students are considering a four-year degree. That number is down from 71 percent from May 2020.

 

More than half of those surveyed feel they can achieve success in three years or fewer of education, including through apprenticeships.

 

Among the “quicker pathways to careers” they view as most appealing: trade skills and on-the-job training.

 

What can that mean for manufacturing?

A new phase in manufacturing

 

Alex Hertzer, MVMC assistant director, said the timing of the survey’s findings is great news for Mahoning Valley manufacturers. To capitalize on the opportunity, he said we must acknowledge and defeat the still-lingering stigmas of industry along with a misconception of how to approach growing the talent pipeline.

 

“We need to promote to job seekers that we’re in a new era in manufacturing,” Hertzer said.

 

Employee works machine at Extrudex.
Hunter Wess began his career in manufacturing through WorkAdvance, a program teaching him the basics of the industry.

That new era includes more technology, automation, safety, clean and bright facilities, and real career paths.

 

It’s finding a way to relate the new industry shifts to Gen Z and future generations, Hertzer said.

 

“As a high school senior, some information might come from influencers.”

 

Using local influencers is a way to show teens “manufacturing is enticing. There are benefits, good pay and the biggest thing right now: culture.”

 

Job seekers want to have that life-work balance, Hertzer said.

 

It’s important that job seekers see a logo or hear a manufacturing company name and immediately associate it with a positive culture, he added.

 

Hertzer said to reach Gen Z to dispel old ideas about manufacturing, the approach of explaining is key.

 

“It’s about rebranding manufacturing as an opportunity. It’s not just an option.”

 

Hertzer said collectively we need to convey a consistently positive message about today’s manufacturing careers.

 

“Let people know yes, you’re going to work hard and sweat, but you’re going to feel you’re part of a family, you’ll have great benefits, your supervisors are there to help you. You’ll have a career path and will grow,” Hertzer said.

Learning while earning

 

Providing opportunities for Gen Z to start making money right as they graduate can be crucial, Hertzer said.

 

Apprenticeships give people a feel for what work needs to be done, and it allows apprentices to mesh with seasoned employees while learning on-the-job.

 

In the survey, 65 percent said they felt skills should be learned in a lab setting or somewhere hands-on. Another 53 percent would opt to gain skills in apprenticeship-type experiences.

 

Locally that can be done through programs like WorkAdvance and registered pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships.

 

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Job seekers and employers linked at Youngstown Works job fair

Within the first half hour of a five-hour job fair, Vallourec was scheduling candidates for job interviews for the next day.

“We had openings for condensed-session interviews, and those spots were filled almost immediately,” said Elizabeth Aukerman, Vallourec talent acquisition specialist.

Vallourec was among 70 entities from the Mahoning Valley, including MVMC members, to participate in the Youngstown Works inaugural hiring event.

Dave Macek, human resources business partner at Vallourec, talks with two job seekers during a hiring event in Youngstown.

Finding employees

Youngstown Works is a consortium of employers and educational partners spearheaded by MyPath Mahoning Valley.

More than 200 job seekers attended. Some interviewed on the spot and others started the application process.

Bringing employers and schools together for the hiring event is one approach when finding employees, said Julie Michael Smith, MVMC project manager.

“Reaching job seekers has been diverse, through hiring events, social media and referrals,” she said.

Job seekers can also talk with companies one-on-one about what to expect at facilities when they connect at job fairs.

For manufacturing, many people think they have a sense of what the industry is, “an outdated misconception” that every facility is dark, loud and filled with back-breaking work.

“It’s completely changed” with emerging technology and updating facilities coming into play, Smith said.

Rethinking the workplace

Peoples’ expectations about work have changed, too.

There has been “lots of turnover” over the last couple of years, as people have reevaluated what they’ve been doing at the workplace.

“Now, people are looking to reskill” and even train for something new, Smith said.

A recruiter talks with students.
Nichole Noday, a human resources generalist with Ultium Cells, LLC, left, talks with East High School juniors Carlos Gonzalez, Tyreek West and Eddie Pierce.

To help job seekers connect with careers in manufacturing, technology and health care, MVMC serves as operations manager for the Ohio To Work Mahoning Valley program, which runs through 2022.

“Ohio To Work is an opportunity to focus on showing job seekers what manufacturing is today,” Smith said.

For more information on Ohio To Work hiring events, contact Smith at julie@mahoningvalleymfg.com.

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Media Coverage

Business Journal Showcases Pennex in Brain Gain Navigators Segment

Pennex Aluminum is the latest MVMC member to be featured in a Business Journal Brain Gain Navigators segment. The live Q&A with area high school students took place May 5.

Navigators screen grab
Pennex Aluminum of Leetonia was featured May 5, 2021 in a Brain Gain Navigators segment. Jera Daye, recruiting specialist, provided a detailed look at the various career path options available.

Click here for a replay of the entire segment and a quick 2-minute video from Pennex’s Leetonia, Ohio operations.

Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition is among the title sponsors of Business Journal Brain Gain, a year-long forum for showcasing the various career opportunities available to young people in the Mahoning Valley.