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Valley Manufacturers Face Shortage of Skilled Workers
Published in WFMJ on 06/18/2012
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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The Valley is seeing a resurgence of its history of making things.

But manufacturers say there's a critical shortage of skilled workers to fill good jobs.

Manufacturers today are using state of the art machines and technology to meet customer demands for quality. But company's say they have equipment sitting idle because they can't find skilled workers to operate them.

"A lot of young people as well as the under employed don't understand that there are great jobs in this area if they have the right background and the right training," said Dale Foerster, Vice President of Starr Manufacturing.

To create pathways to success, the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers Coalition is partnering with the Valley's career and technical centers to offer new programs to equip students and adults with the skills needed for jobs in manufacturing.

"We're working together trying to make sure we have the equipment and we have everything we need to make sure these kids can be successful," said Huck Hughes from the Columbiana County Career & Technical Center.

A two million dollar renovation is underway at the Columbiana County Career & Technical Center that will double the number of students it can enroll for training this fall.

The superintendent says the equipment and curriculum are the result of input from the manufacturer's advisory committee. "To make sure we're teaching the skills that are absolutely necessary in the field today," said Willard Adkins, Superintendent at the Columbiana County Career & Technical Center.

"We want to keep people here and to educate the young people and the under employed in our region so they can take advantage of these great jobs," Foerster said.
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