Filling Ohio’s Skills Gaps is Vital for Small Businesses
By Rob Scott
U.S. Small Business Administration’s Great Lakes Regional Administrator, serving Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota & Wisconsin
As I’ve toured the Great Lakes Region and met with small businesses across Ohio, I’ve heard countless times about many not being able to grow (and sometimes sustain) because of their inability to find skilled workers to fill the job opportunities. Not only is this hurting the small businesses, it’s also affecting economic development.
With that in mind, the U.S. Small Business Administration has launched a competition focused on helping small businesses have the human capital pipeline they need to succeed through the Makerspace Training, Collaboration and Hiring (MaTCH) Pilot Competition. The goal is to assist both those entrepreneurs just starting out and those burgeoning businesses working to take their operations to the next level.
By providing a total of $1 million to help existing makerspaces create or expand job-specific and life skills training, the MaTCH competition aims to address the job placement gaps faced by U.S. businesses. Makerspaces are uniquely positioned to increase workforce development efforts. These entrepreneurial and training hubs provide new paths for vocational and technical education, build new job skills, and generate apprenticeship opportunities in new and growing maker industries.
The MaTCH competition reaffirms the SBA’s commitment to cultivating access to entrepreneurship and supporting innovation. And it will empower a stronger connection between the maker’s community and job creation, ultimately providing an added economic boost to communities across our nation and here in Ohio. Its goal is to have all MaTCH program graduates prepared for their own entrepreneurial journey or placed in positions with previously identified employers that need skilled labor.
With the evolution of our manufacturing hubs, incorporation of new technologies such as 3D printing and fabrication innovation, and creative craft, makerspaces and education are vital to our region’s vibrant economic path forward. We’ve made great strides in small business growth here and will benefit from even more makers, artisans, entrepreneurs and inventors.
Join me in helping small businesses start, grow and expand, and reinforcing the “Made in America” maker movement and share details about the MaTCH competition with your area makerspaces. More information, including the entry form – which is due July 8 – rules and requirements, can be found at www.sba.gov/match.
Much more than just “drug houses”; State grants to fund commercial building demolition would propel county land banks as key drivers of Ohio’s economic development
In late April 2021, a legislative committee in the Ohio House held its second hearing to consider creating a $100 million grant program, exclusively for county land banks, to fund commercial building demolition. Ohio’s land bank statutes are recognized as a national model, uniquely providing an opt-in for county commissioners to direct tax collections to fund their county land banks’ activities. That revenue model, coupled with allocations from the state’s Hardest Hit Fund (specifically, the sun-setting Neighborhood Initiative Program), allowed land banks to grow in number during the past decade and thrive in addressing so-called nonproductive land in their communities.read more
Archbold, Ohio – Communication, collaboration, and partnerships are all sometimes a difficult ask. The ultimate goal of all three is to produce action that leads to meeting a goal or need. At Paulding High School, the goal was met as five students completed the Northwest State Community College welding course. The offering, consisting of two college level welding courses, came to fruition alongside the OhioMeansJobs-Defiance and Paulding Counties Office, the Paulding County Economic Development Office, Paulding High School, and Northwest State Community College.read more
Every year we celebrate the organizations and individuals that have partnered with us to help grow our local economy. Due to COVID-19, we were unable to host our Annual Meeting & Business Development Awards Ceremony. This year we celebrated the Award recipients at their place of business.read more