Filling Ohio’s Skills Gaps is Vital for Small Businesses

Jun 26, 2019 | News, Newsletter

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.

2019 Annual Excellence Awards – Call for Nominations

The Ohio Economic Development Association’s annual Excellence Awards program recognizes the achievements of individuals and organizations in Ohio in the areas of economic and workforce development. Submit your nominations today and have excellence in your community recognized statewide!

A panel of judges will assess the nominations, determine finalists, and select a winner for each of the categories noted below. Award winners will be announced at a ceremony during the OEDA Annual Summit to be held October 16-18 at The Renaissance Columbus Downtown. All award finalists and winners will be notified prior to the Annual Summit so as to make appropriate arrangements.

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Groundbreaking Celebration in Chillicothe

Ninety percent of the Kenworth Class-8 global truck volume is built in Chillicothe, Ohio!

On April 24, 2019, the community celebrated the groundbreaking for a new paint facility that will improve efficiency and preserve the quality of The World’s Best Truck.  The project represents $140 million in capital investment and will bring 100 new, great paying jobs to Ross County upon its completion in 2021.  The Kenworth Chillicothe plant, which opened in 1974, currently employs more than 2300 people.  In addition to the new paint facility, a $30 million robotic cab assembly system will be installed this summer.

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