(Posted October 7, 2015)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
From producing car parts to designing prosthetic limbs, Madison County businesses are making their mark on the manufacturing map.
To celebrate this sector of the county’s economy, the Madison County Chamber of Commerce, Madison County Future Inc., and Tolles Career and Technical Center are hosting several events in the coming weeks. The awareness efforts coincide with Gov. John Kasich’s declaration of October as Manufacturing Month in Ohio.
Madison County’s focus is on the job opportunities in manufacturing. The chamber is working with OH! Manufacturing, an advocacy organization based in Columbus, to set up factory tours for school students.
“Students will get a chance to talk to young people who have found a career in manufacturing, as well as people who have moved up in their careers in manufacturing,” said David Kell, Chamber director.
Businesses slated to host the tours are Stanley Electric and Nissen Chemitec in London, Keihin Thermal Technology in Mount Sterling, Jefferson Industries in West Jefferson, and Autotool Inc. in Plain City. Students from the Jonathan Alder, London, Madison-Plains, West Jefferson and Tolles school districts will participate.
Tolles got an early start on celebrating Manufacturing Month, accepting a resolution on Oct. 2 from Kasich in recognition of the district’s efforts to promote and support jobs in manufacturing. Representatives from the governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the Ohio Development Services Agency visited Tolles’ new Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative (RAMTEC) Center, a $1.5 million revamp and enhancement of Tolles’ engineering and manufacturing lab.
On Oct. 23, the Union and Madison county chambers will host their Business Impact Breakfast at Tolles. Presentations on the RAMTEC initiative will be featured. The center will be dedicated in an invitation-only event on Oct. 26.
The public will get a chance to explore the RAMTEC Center, as well as learn about area job opportunities, when Madison County hosts a Manufacturing Careers Open House from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 2 at Tolles, 7877 U.S. Route 42 S., Plain City. Local manufacturing companies will share information about career opportunities, and colleges will be on-hand to talk about career majors and pathways that lead to manufacturing careers.
“Perhaps the most misunderstood career field today is manufacturing,” said Shane Haggerty, district spokesperson for Tolles. “The areas of robotics, engineering, welding, and advanced manufacturing are some of the highest demand and most lucrative career pathways available. Parents and students, as well as the community as a whole, should truly explore what manufacturing offers.”
Ohio Manufacturing Facts
- Ohio is the third largest state in manufacturing as a percent of Gross State Product, ranking only behind the much larger states of California and Texas.
- Over 1 million vehicles are produced in Ohio each year, more than one-sixth of the total output in the United States.
- Ohio is a leader in American aircraft engine production. Seventeen percent of the total United States employment in aviation and aerospace is located in Ohio.
- Ohio’s food and beverage manufacturing industry shipped over $24 billion in products in 2012.
- Over 600,000 Ohioans are employed in manufacturing careers, nearly 13 percent of the state’s total employment.