Will We Extract Every Job and Opportunity from America’s Fastest Growing New Industry?

Jun 20, 2017 | News |

Archie Williamson.
Diversified Systems, Inc.

Ohio’s emerging medical marijuana industry will, over time, create thousands of jobs through licensee businesses and start-up companies.

The state will soon be producing jobs with titles that didn’t exist here even a year ago — jobs with titles like: cannabis cultivator, processor, dispensary sales manager, patient education director, plant material trimmer… etc, etc.

Beyond these intriguing new jobs and job categories, medical marijuana- related enterprises – in business services, consulting, information technology, packaging – become exciting important new or business add-on options for Ohio entrepreneurs.

The jobs and business opportunity growth curve will be sharp in this new Ohio industry.

The key questions economic and workforce development professionals should be asking is:  Will Ohio make the mistake of other cannabis-legal states by failing to plan for what will be an industry that literally emerges almost overnight?  Or, will we take the lead in crafting economic and workforce development policies and programs that help Ohioans – especially minorities, women and veterans — extract every job and opportunity from this important emerging industry?

As a member of various Central Ohio workforce boards and founding partner of an Ohio Minority Business Enterprise that provides information technology solutions to corporations and government agencies, I’ve spent years working with businesses and industries, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions to align workforce and economic development agendas with employer and employee needs.

In my discussions with these partners, I’ve found there’s real interest in a statewide job and entrepreneurship program that helps the medical marijuana industry consistently recruit and train Ohioans – particularly those Ohioans who often find themselves “outside the hiring circle” — while also serving as an incubator for new cannabis-related businesses.

To meet these needs, I propose a cannabis industry/State of Ohio collaborative organization that would:

  • Develop voluntary Ohio industry-wide job classifications and credentialing standards for cannabis cultivators, dispensaries and processors.
  • Serve as a statewide, regional and onsite training provider for the Ohio medical marijuana industry by offering industry standard learning modules for cultivators, dispensary operators and processors.
  • Create consistent, well-vetted job recruitment and training tools to enable Ohio cannabis licensee businesses to more effectively find, train and retain good local employees on their own.
  • Assist cannabis licensee businesses in recruiting, training and credentialing minority, veteran and female applicants to meet their specific hiring needs.
  • And, work with entrepreneurs to help them understand the needs of Ohio licensees so they can develop technology, business solutions, and other products and services to best serve the market.

With the right approach, this cannabis industry/State of Ohio effort could become a national best practice for assuring Ohioans get their fair share of the jobs and opportunities made possible by the fastest growing new industry in America.

What You Can Learn from How NASA and SpaceX Market Rockets

Back in February, I saw the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch from Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida. I was four miles away from the launchpad, and it was one of the most amazing things I’ve experienced. That’s not pertinent to this story, but I like to brag about it.

read more

Pipeline H2O Fostering the Next Wave of Water Technology

Water is one of the most vital substances on Earth. It’s a fundamental part of our everyday lives, powering some of our most basic human needs, like hydrating, bathing and cooking. But water is not automatically usable in all forms—throughout history we have made adaptations, such as treating water to rid it of contaminants for our consumption or harnessing its power for electricity. Water remains one of the most crucial components of our everyday lives, which is why Pipeline H2O in Hamilton, Ohio, is fostering the next generation of water technologies.

read more

Votes Boost Cargill, Airport Building Projects

Real estate deals near Dayton International Airport and at Cargill in Sidney got a big boost Monday.

The Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to boost both business expansions, approving deals that will shield construction projects at both sites from state and local sales taxes.

The trustees approved a capital lease financial structure to exempt from sales taxes a $175 million expansion at the Cargill refining plant in Sidney, a project expected to add 12 jobs to a workforce of 293 people.

read more