- The canton's regional chamber held a forum Friday to discuss the state of the workforce.
- Statewide and regional leaders discussed the future of the Ohio workforce.
- Stark County has 6,500 job openings right now.
JACKSON TWP. ‒ Intel's plan to open a new chip manufacturing facility in central Ohio will attract young workers to manufacturing jobs, according to business and education leaders.
“Our young people know about Intel, and they're a little excited about the opportunity to go to work in a high-tech manufacturing company where the sky's the limit in terms of their own careers,” said Stark State President Para Jones.
Intel is expected to hire 3,000 workers when it opens two microchip factories in New Albany. Jones said having a company with global recognition to bring manufacturing jobs to the Buckeye State will increase young people's perception of careers in the industry.
“We're changing the way people think,” she said.
Kevin Hoggatt, director of state affairs for Ohio at Intel, said 70% of the company's Ohio workforce will be technicians. Those positions require a two-year associate degree or less, he said, and Intel is currently working to develop a shorter curriculum to help lower the barrier to entry for those jobs.
“We want to meet people where they are,” Hoggatt said.
About 25% of Intel's jobs will be engineering, and 5% will support roles such as human resources and finance.
“I really think it's going to be transformative not just for central Ohio, but for our entire state,” he said. “We're bringing an entire industry here and really developing an ecosystem … we expect 30 to 40 of our supplier companies to come to Ohio because we're here, and we're really trying to build the Silicon heartland.”
Ryan Augsburger, president of the Ohio Manufacturers' Association, said manufacturing continues to play a significant role in the state's economy, but many employers have struggled to find workers in recent years, even before the pandemic.
The discussion took place during the Canton Regional Chambers State of the Workforce Forum Friday at Stark State College.
The event featured state and regional panels of business leaders, who discussed what they see in the workforce. The state panelists included Jones, Hoggatt, Augsburger and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.
Regional panelists included JoAnn Breedlove, executive director of the Stark Tuscarawas Development Board; Joe Chaddock, superintendent of the Stark County Educational Service Center; Jim Batcheider, president of the Stark County Manufacturing Workforce Development Partnership; and Samuel Muhammad, adult education and workforce coordinator for the National Center for Urban Solutions.
Here are some key takeaways from the event:
Stark County Needs Healthcare, Hospitality Workers
The Stark community has about 6,500 job openings, Breedlove said.
That number comes from an online database from OhioMeansJobs that pulls jobs seeking employees in the Stark area.
Of the 6,500 openings, about 1,700 were in hospitality, 1,600 in health care, 800 in management and 500 in manufacturing, Breedlove said.
More employers are paying to further train their employees through continuing education
Jones said many employers — particularly in health care and manufacturing — have partnered with Stark State to give their employees the chance to develop through continuing education. Many hire entry-level workers and then pay their Stark State tuition so they can advance themselves.
Stark State calls this model “learn and earn.”
“It's really the education and workforce model that we believe is the future model for educating and developing people, but especially our Ohioans with these wonderful job opportunities,” Jones said.
The number of Ohioans starting businesses is increasing
LaRose said there has been an increase in business registrations in recent years.
The Buckeye State had record years for new businesses in 2020 and 2021. The state saw a drop from 197,000 new businesses in 2021 to 179,636 new businesses in 2022. LaRose said factors such as labor shortages and inflation contributed to that decline.
“However, we have seen some positive news in the first few months of this year,” LaRose said. “We obviously don't have the numbers for March yet, but for January and February, both of those were record months.”
Reach Paige at 330-580-8577, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @paigembenn.
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