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Manufacturing top sector for job growth

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Reposted from the Dayton Daily News

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Manufacturing top sector for job growth

Steve Bennish and Thomas Gnau | October 17, 2012 | Dayton Daily News

Jobs in the manufacturing sector locally have grown 4 percent during the past 12 months, new figures compiled by the Dayton Development Coalition show.

Scott Koorndyk, executive vice president for economic development at the Coalition, said Tuesday that the region’s net gain of manufacturing jobs was 4,281 during the past 12 months in a 14-county region. Total local manufacturing jobs grew from 108,411 to 112,692.

“This is really good growth,” he said. “Dayton should be very pleased. In a very challenging environment we are seeing growth in high-paying, high-demand jobs.”

Manufacturing outpaced job growth overall, the Coalition said. During the past 12 months, the Dayton region added 16,530 jobs for job growth of 2.3 percent.

Standouts were aerospace products and parts, at 15 percent of the total, or 636 of the new manufacturing jobs, and medical equipment, where 321 new jobs were created.

The Dayton region is particularly strong at manufacturing products used by other manufacturers for their production lines, Koorndyk said.

“This is a misunderstood or undervalued of portion of the economy,” he said. “Dayton is really good at manufacturing for manufacturers, who spend 48 percent of their business buying from other manufacturers.”

The news comes as local and state officials are undertaking a series of events this month to emphasize manufacturing as a way to accelerate economic recovery and the reindustrialization of the Dayton region. In Ohio, manufacturing produces more than $73 billion in goods annually.

The problem, officials say, is that many people aren’t considering manufacturing a viable job option although the sector has been in growth mode. One of 10 new manufacturing jobs created in the U.S. since 2009 was created in Ohio, or 50,000 jobs.

Finding young people to step forward for jobs in manufacturing, finding qualified workers who want to do the work, are issues that manufacturers everywhere are dealing with, Ohio Sen. Bill Beagle said.

Beagle said his goal is to reach parents and students, to help them understand that manufacturing remains a viable career option. But he also wants small manufacturers know that there are institutions, like Sinclair, trying to train future workers.

Beagle is hosting a free, public forum, “Manufacturing in the Dayton Region,” at Sinclair Community College on Oct. 22. Jeff Hoagland, Dayton Development Coalition chief executive; Joe Tuss, interim Montgomery County administrator; and Bill Lukens, chairman and CEO of Troy’s Stillwater Technologies, and Rich Frederick, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation will be on panels.

“My goal is to help the people participating on the panels to get the word out that manufacturing is still an important part of the regional economy as well as the state’s economy,” Beagle said. “Also, that manufacturing is a viable career alternative for many because it often doesn’t take a four year degree and it pays the types of wages one can support a family on.”

Also next week, the Dayton Region Manufacturing Association will have its annual trade show — the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Show — at the Dayton International Airport Expo Center. The show will be Oct. 24 and 25 at 3900 McCauley Drive, Vandalia.

“It’s a chance to expose people to what manufacturing is like today,” said Beagle, R-Tipp City. “I think it is a great idea that they (companies) have open houses and they expose the next generation to what manufacturing is.”

His wife, Karen Beagle, owns Troy’s DARE Electronics, a producer of timers and relays.

Beagle said that in his 18 months in the Senate, he has come to a stronger understanding of the challenges manufacturers face. “I’ve seen her issues,” he said. “But I don’t know that I had an appreciation of how widespread those issues are.”

“Manufacturing is not dead. It’s just different,” said Tuss last week when the Montgomery County Community Improvement Corp. Board of Trustees approved a $2 million Industrial Development Revenue Bond for Dayton manufacturer Techmetals Inc.

Elsewhere in the state, manufacturing also is being emphasized.

October is “Ohio Manufacturing Month. Earlier this year, the Ohio House created a manufacturing task force to guide the reindustrialization of the state.

On Monday, four of the largest U.S. manufacturers introduced a plan to train military veterans to work in manufacturing. The companies, General Electric Co, Alcoa Inc, Boeing Co., and Lockheed-Martin Corp said they will provide financial support to the “Get Skills to Work Coalition,” which will get its start in January at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, near GE’s Aviation plant. It will be rolled out to nine more U.S. cities during 2013, Reuters reported.

The program initially will target filling 15,000 jobs.

And earlier this year, Speaker of the Ohio House William G. Batchelder, R-Medina, announced the 21st Century Manufacturing Task Force to connect “Ohio’s manufacturing community, public policy makers and others to improve Ohio’s manufacturing competitiveness in the 21st century.”

The task force was formed following reports that Ohio has lost 3,500 factories in a decade. The number of manufacturing operations in Ohio fell 18 percent from 19,697 to 16,159 during in a decade, causing the loss of 369,097 manufacturing jobs, according to the most recent information available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

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